Nu 60,020 tobacco fines collected in seven hours in Thimphu

Within a six-hour time frame, the Entertainment Licensing Committee (ELC) comprising of BNCA, RBP, Trade, Custom, Thromde and Care Bhutan collected a fine of Nu 60,020 during an inspection carried out on 7 September.

Two teams, one at Olakha while the other deployed in main town area, began their inspections at 10 pm to 3:30 am in bars, entertainment centers and hotels which was kept open late night. 36 people (including shop owners) were fined for illegal possession of tobacco products, smoking in non-smoking area and failure of person in charge.

The highest amount fined was Nu 19,000 followed by Nu 6,000 and 4,000, and they were fined for illegal possession of tobacco products.

A person found smoking in non-smoking area is fined with Nu 500. There is a fine of Nu 1,000 per person for failure of a person in-charge, which means a owner of a shop will be fined if he fails to inform on a person smoking in an open area within the vicinity of the person’s shop.

A fine imposed for illegal possession depends upon the quantity seized. The inspection team seized 35 packets of cigarettes, 22 packets of Baba chewing tobacco, 11 packets of classic cigarettes, 5 packets of Khaini tobacco and 21 packets of Biri cigarettes during the inspection.

Meanwhile, during the course of inspection, an arrest was made in connection to drug abuse. The suspect is under police custody and the case will be forwarded to the court.

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