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UAE: Warehouse that stored duplicate tobacco products busted

afkarali@khaleejtimes.com Filed on March 29, 2021
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Dh1.5m worth of products seized

The Ajman Department of Economic Development (DED) and the Municipality & Planning Department Ajman (MPDA) cracked down on an illegal warehouse at Al Jurf industrial area on charges of manufacturing and packaging tobacco and Mu’assel (flavoured shisha tobacco) products.

Around 16,000 adulterated goods ranging from Mu’assel, raw Mu’assel, electronic shisha (hookah), to flavoured oils for electronic shisha and tobacco were confiscated. The cumulative value of these assorted products is around Dh1.5 million (m).

“Acting on a tip-off from the Federal Customs Authority (FCA), a team of inspectors raided an unlicenced warehouse belonging to one of the tobacco stores in Ajman. All goods were seized from the illegal warehouse,” said Ahmed Khair Al Balushi, Director of the Control and Consumer Protection Division, Ajman DED.

“We urge the public and consumers to protect their rights by avoiding the purchase of goods and products from unlicenced or suspicious facilities, examining the commodity or product before purchasing them. The public must ensure that the products conform to the specifications approved and applicable in the UAE and cooperate in reporting any facility or warehouse that operates in violation of the law or trades in counterfeit or adulterated goods or products, by calling the Ajman Contact Centre. Such goods and products are detrimental to the health and safety of society, the environment and the local economy. We affirm to protect trademarks and punish whoever intends to endanger the safety and health of members of the society,” he said,

“We’ve confiscated the expired tobacco and Mu’assel products that do not conform to the approved UAE specifications and standards; don’t bear a tax stamp; lack storage standards and contain hazardous chemicals. The expired products are unfit for distribution and consumption. These high-risk materials are re-packaged with new dates in the warehouse. We’ve destroyed all the seized products,” said Ahmed Obaid Al Suwaidi, Head of the Health Control Division, MPDA.

“Protecting society and maintaining the health of the public against harmful business practices is one of our strategic objectives,” he added.

“The warehouse manufactured adulterated tobacco and Mu’assel products, and was also guilty of tax evasion,” said Mutab Al Bannai, Director of the Customs Control and Inspection Division, FCA.

“We take pride in our strategic partnerships with Ajman DED, MPDA, Department of Ports and Customs, and Federal Tax Authority (FTA). We seek to strengthen our partnerships by exchanging information to protect consumers, support the economic development, raise the UAE competitiveness in the field of trade, and build a competitive knowledge-based economy,” he added.

Afkar Abdullah





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