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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 October 2018

100kg of 'harmful' betel leaves seized after swoop in Fujairah

Huge haul of illegal item found in car after inspection campaign

Dibba Municipality has seized 100kg of betel leaves, which can not only be harmful to health but can cause a blight on the appearance of public areas due to the stain they leave when spat out. Pawan Singh / The National
Dibba Municipality has seized 100kg of betel leaves, which can not only be harmful to health but can cause a blight on the appearance of public areas due to the stain they leave when spat out. Pawan Singh / The National

One hundred kilograms of banned betel leaves have been seized after a crackdown in Fujairah.

The illegal haul - widely known as paan - was discovered in a distribution vehicle during an inspection campaign targeting supermarkets and shops in the area.

The 'harmful' substance is chewed with tobacco, with the juices often spat out on the ground, proving a health hazard and a blight on the appearance of streets and pavements.

Chewing betel leaves is considered a tradition in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, where it is offered to guests after meals.

Salem Al Yahami, director-general of Dibba Municipality, says the illicit item "ruins" the public image of the emirate.

“Regular inspection campaigns are being carried out to eliminate the existence of such harmful banned substance in the market and fine those who who are selling it,” he said.

“Paan ruins the public image of the city as its easily stains on walls, pavements and buildings.

“It also causes environmental pollution health and health risks among its consumers.”

The municipality is urging the public to report any violations by calling them on 09 244 3399.

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Read more:

Almost 200 in Abu Dhabi fined in 2016 for spitting on streets

Inspectors uncover large haul of illegal tobacco in Sharjah

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