Twenty-one shops that reportedly stockpiled cigarettes have been caught by the Industry, Commerce and Tourism Ministry.
The ministry’s Consumer Protection Directorate has referred the store owners to the Public Prosecution for legal action.
“The Industry, Commerce and Tourism Ministry has seized 21 stores that have been proven to store and refrain from selling cigarettes to the public,” said a ministry statement issued today.
“Required legal and administrative procedures were taken and the owners of the stores were referred to Public Prosecution.”
This comes at a time when Bahrain’s new “sin tax” on tobacco, energy drinks and soft drinks is on schedule to be implemented before a November 26 deadline.
The GDN reported last week that Bahrain’s new tax cleared its final hurdle when it was approved by the Shura Council.
Members unanimously approved the tax on tobacco, energy drinks and soft drinks, as well as a GCC agreement paving the way for the excise tax, which will double the price of energy drinks and lead to a 50 per cent increase in the price of soft drinks.
Meanwhile, a 40 per cent Customs duty previously applied to cigarettes will be scrapped and they will instead be subject to a 100pc tax - meaning a packet that currently costs BD1.4 in the shops will soon cost BD2.