New clamp on illicit alcohol trade
Manama, July 26, 2014
Bahrain authorities are cracking down on mafias selling alcohol in the black market and have urged people to help them stop the illicit activity.
They say they have recorded a surge in people trading illegally in the capital even during Ramadan when serving alcohol in public is banned.
The Manama Municipal Council has identified the location of up to 50 traders selling locally-manufactured alcohol for prices ranging between 500 fils and BD1.
Councillors say some of them even buy liquor in bulk from suppliers and sell them at cheaper prices on the streets.
They said the campaign was being held in co-operation with the Interior Ministry and Capital Governorate.
Councillor Mohammed Al Hawaj, whose constituency covers Old Manama and Naim, urged people with information about the illicit activities to come forward.
"We or the police have no right to enter labour camps in old homes and most of the 'dons' live, manufacture or stock inside them, which means that they are immune," he said.
"Our clampdown has begun and we urge people to help us locate these 'dons', but we urge area residents to be calm and stay away from violence when discovering homes."
Al Hawaj warned of an increase in illegal trade with the enforcement of the Culture Ministry's decision to ban serving alcohol in three-star hotels.
"Now not just poor labourers will buy alcohol from the black market, but also people staying in those hotels since the ban doesn't include personal drinking inside rooms," he said.
"The black market business is strong, but it will flourish with more demand and it will not be a surprise if cold stores sell alcohol instead of Pepsi under the table to make money."
Council vice-chairman Mohammed Mansoor said the council has received complaints from people who spotted shady traders on the streets. - TradeArabia News Service