Restaurants warned against selling tobacco products

MUSCAT, Sept 19 – Restaurants and eateries across the country have been warned against selling tobacco and tobacco products, including illegal chewing tobacco and prohibited cigarettes, on their premises. The warning comes in the wake of arrest of an Asian national for selling such products in violation of the Consumer Protection Law issued through Royal Decree No. 66/2014. He was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment and his licence was revoked. He was subsequently expelled from the country.

“Trading in chewing tobacco, contraband cigarette products and illegal tobacco products is an offence. Anyone found violating the law will be subjected to criminal proceedings,” said a source. The raid and arrested happened after the judicial inspectors received information that some shops were selling such products. The inspectors, upon raiding the shop, found 15 bags of tobacco and other types of cigarettes hidden in a bathroom attached to the cafe.

Despite a ban, the sale of such illegal products has been thriving in and around the country. Raids on bootleggers and chewing tobacco have become quite common. The Customs Department of Royal Oman Police (ROP) has seized containers of fake/ banned tobacco products, and foiled several attempts to smuggle them into the country. The Public Authority for Consumer Protection (PACP) has urged all traders and suppliers to abide by the provisions of the Consumer Protection Law.

KABEER YOUSUF