235kg paan stored with foodstuff seized in UAE
Ras Al Khaimah - Up to 235.2kg of banned narcotic paan and 17,180 boxes of cigarettes of unknown origin were found.
A contracting company in Ras Al Khaimah was busted by the municipality for storing banned items, mainly narcotic paan (chewing tobacco), along with other foodstuffs.
The Ras Al Khaimah Municipality, in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and the RAK Police, verified the tip-off on the company specialised in sanitation and electric works. The suspects were tracked down during a surprise raid at the reported institution which proved to be storing the banned stuff in the upper floor.
"Up to 235.2kg of banned narcotic paan and 17,180 boxes of cigarettes of unknown origin were found. These are added to eight sacks of rice - 285kg per each, 96 bottles of soft drinks, 45kg of lentil seeds, and 429 eggs. All the foodstuff and banned items were seized, while the erring company was slapped with a hefty fine," said the sources.
Earlier, five Asian drug dealers stood trial at the Ras Al Khaimah criminal court for being involved in trafficking banned narcotic paan.
Police sources told Khaleej Times that a kilogramme of narcotic paan is usually sold at Dh2,000. "Chewing tobacco is imported mostly from Asian countries, and distributed in local markets. Some people prepare it at home or hideouts."
Paan is banned in the UAE for posing risk on health and the environment. "It tarnishes the image of the city since the remains chewed and left behind on the ground or walls are hard to remove."
Dr Mohammed Hamed, a pharmacist here, told Khaleej Times that paan and naswar contain a mixture of tobacco, chemicals, and seeds available in southeastern countries. "They are very harmful to addicts' health and cause several diseases," he said. "Paan and naswar are main reasons of gum cancer, gastric and mouth ulcers, unbalance, depression, insomnia, exhaustion, laziness and lack of concentration, and teeth discolouring."