x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Schoolgirls caught with tobacco classed as a drug

The headmistress of a Sharjah school alerts tte police to investigate and then resigns.

SHARJAH // Police are investigating an incident in which they said 10 schoolgirls were found in possession of a smokeless tobacco product classified as a drug.

Authorities were called by their private school's headmistress, who resigned following the incident, after girls between nine and 13 years of age were found with Chaini Khaini, police sources said. The girl who allegedly brought the substance to school was asked to call her parents and police were investigating them as well.

The 13-year-old told police she had got the product in question from her home country and was not aware it was classed as a drug. The incident was causing great concern for the school's owners as it could ruin its reputation, said the headmistress, who asked not to be identified.

"Maybe we rushed to call the police but I was concerned [whether] this was a drug and was being consumed in a school," she said. Police did not disclose the name of the school in question.

The product has already been banned in the emirate and inspectors have been asked to make sure it had been withdrawn from the local market, said Abdullah Sultan al Mualla, the Sharjah Municipality Director General.

A police spokesman said that the product, which is encased in a pouch that is inserted between the cheek and gum, was becoming increasingly popular among students.