Photo: Google Street View April 2019.

Imperial Tobacco has removed a gantry from a London-based retailer convicted of selling counterfeit tobacco.

The firm said the retailer, Karson Mepani, of Mepani News, 527 Kingsbury Road, London, would no longer receive any sales support for violating the terms and conditions of his contract.

Local Trading Standards officers have seized 5,200 illegal products during a raid at Mepani’s store, leading to his conviction by magistrates for possession of counterfeit tobacco.

“We applaud Brent & Harrow Trading Standards for securing this particular conviction, whilst also recognising the wider success TS authorities are enjoying across the UK in the ongoing fight against illegal tobacco,” commented James Hall, Anti-Illicit Trade Manager at Imperial Tobacco UK.

Hall said the tobacco major continues to assist in the reporting and investigation of the illegal trade wherever possible.

“Our dedicated anti-illicit trade app, SARA, launched in January 2018, and since that time we’ve received almost 2,000 reports of potential illegal tobacco sales. This has resulted in 160 positive seizures and the removal of 126 social media posts,” he explained.