Friday, January 25, 2008


Sellers of contraband cigarettes increasing

Another complaint has been received about the activities of contraband cigarette peddlers in Inanam town. It came from Mat who claimed that the number of youngsters involved in the illegal activities are increasing. He said these people are seen day and night openly pestering passersby to buy the cigarettes. “Every time I go there in the evening, these people would be there and I think they are illegal immigrants,” he said. “The fact is young children are involved in activities that are prohibited by law and such activities are encouraging young people to smoke as they make cheap cigarettes easy to obtain.” Mat pointed out that the illegal activities if tolerated by the authorities could make these people more daring and carry out more serious illegal activities like drug peddling. He said the activities defeat the purpose of the government in raising the prices of cigarettes and discouraging people from smoking. A spokesman for Kota Kinabalu City Hall’s Public Complaints Unit, when asked to comment on the matter, said many operations have been carried out to curb the activities. He said such operations are usually carried out together with the Customs Department and Immigration Department. “We are currently conducting operations every evening to curb the activities, and those caught would face action,” he said.