Dubai vows to kick out bootlegging

Dubai vows to kick out bootlegging

Dubai is getting tougher on bootlegging with the civic body intensifying a crackdown on those smuggling and selling liquor in the emirate’s labour accommodation areas.

A senior official in charge of raids on unauthorised vendors and bootleggers, has vowed to clean up these areas of the illegal practice by the end of the year.

“We are going to be very strict with these people. We will give them three more months to stop all these illegal activities. From the beginning of 2012, nobody will be able to do these illegal activities,” Khalid Salem Selaiteen, who heads the Environmental Emergency Office at the Dubai Municipality, said on Wednesday.

“It doesn’t mean that we won’t do anything in these three months. We will continue to crack down on them,” he said.

He was speaking to Khaleej Times after a haul of 1,164 bottles of whiskey, 480 cans of beer and 900 packets of Naswar, a chewable tobacco with mild narcotic effect.

All these were smuggled in from different emirates and were meant for sale to workers in labour accommodations in Al Quoz 2 area, according to Selaiteen. Most of the liquor bottles were hidden in underground chambers, and electricity and telephone cable rooms while the Naswar packets were seized from a car driven by a peddler, who was later handed over to the Bur Dubai Police.

Selaiteen said stern action by the authorities had resulted in reducing bootlegging activities in Sonapur and Jebel Ali labour accommodations.

However, bootleggers are still active in Al Quoz and the municipality has decided to act against them. “It is better for them if they stop it now,” he said.

Earlier in the summer, the Environmental Emergency Office had seized 280 tonnes of illegally sold goods, including fruits, vegetables, food items and liquor.

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