434kg chewing tobacco seized.
Manama: Nearly 450 kilos of chewing tobacco worth thousands of dinars have been seized during a major crackdown on banned products.
The Customs Directorate reported on a group of Asians illegally storing tobacco and chewing tobacco in one of the stores in Muharraq.
They used a bus to transport the contraband products to commercial stores and a wooden restaurant in Juffair.
A joint operation, including officers from the anti-smoking directorate, Customs and the Muharraq Police Station, was conducted to arrest the suspects.
A search warrant from the Public Prosecution was issued for the store and the bus before authorities arrested the suspects and confiscated the wanted items.
"Authorities confiscated 434kg of chewing tobacco (Indian pan and tambak) found at the store in Muharraq and confiscated the bus used to sell the illegal items after receiving a Public Prosecution arrest and search warrant," read an Information Affairs Authority statement.
"In addition, other items used in emptying and filling the contrabands have been confiscated."
Officials from the Health Ministry and Customs then searched the wooden restaurant near a building under construction, where they discovered the restaurant was illegally operating without a licence and had broken all health and safety regulations.
The restaurant did not have a food licence and sold chewing tobacco and single cigarettes.
Police confiscated 51kg of unauthorised items from the restaurant.
All those responsible have been arrested and sent to the Public Prosecution for questioning.
The maximum penalty for the charges are a BD5,000 fine and shutting down of the store for three months.
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