Wheels come off for Birmingham retailer

Japan Tobacco International (JTI) has removed its 40th tobacco gantry, the latest one being from a retailer in Birmingham prosecuted for sales of illegal tobacco. Darminder Gulati’s Wheeler Street Foodstore’s premises licence was suspended by Birmingham City Council’s Licencing Sub-Committee A, following a seizure of illegal cigarettes in April.

The Birmingham Mail reported police had originally received a tip-off about the sale of illegal goods, prompting officers to inspect the shop in April. Behind the till they discovered 188 packets of illegal cigarettes, thought to be from Iraq, and five bottles of spirits with security tags still on them. One of the bottles was also wrapped in foil – a ploy often used by shoplifters to beat electronic detection devices

Charlie Cunningham-Reid, UK Head of Corporate Affairs said, “This retailer joins the hall of shame with thirty nine others who thought selling illegal tobacco would have little consequence. However, in addition to punishments handed down by the authorities, they have all lost their gantries and any future support from JTI. Our message to retailers is simple – Don’t Be Complicit in Illicit.”

Anyone with information concerning this type of crime should contact Trading Standards on 03454 04 05 06 or visit JTI’s dedicated anti-illicit trade microsite – www.jtiadvance.co.uk/DontBeComplicit – which features an easy-to-use ‘report’ function which anyone can use to anonymously report instances of illicit trade activity.