Four men were arrested for distributing large quantities of chewing tobacco, commonly known as naswar. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: In a routine inspection campaign, authorities in Al Ain rounded up four men and seized dozens of bags containing the highly-addictive chewing tobacco known as naswar.

The inspection department at Al Ain Municipality recently confiscated and destroyed large quantities of chewing tobacco, a product that is illegal to be traded and sold in the UAE.


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The illegal products were found packed in bags inside a vehicle in the industrial zone.

According to Al Ain Municipality, four men of various nationalities intended to distribute the illegal items.

They have since been arrested and referred to the concerned authorities in the emirate of Abu Dhabi for their involvement in the illegal trade.  

Mohammed Marzouq Al Mazrouei, director of the supervision and inspection department at the Al Ain City Municipality, said: “Our inspectors are constantly monitoring areas in Al Ain to protect the public from harmful goods, and through our joint campaigns [with police], pursue all types of illegal activities.”

Al Mazrouei added that the operation carried out in the industrial zone was the result of inspectors’ efforts in monitoring the district, and urged residents to report any violations or suspicious behaviour that may pose a threat to public safety.

What is naswar?

Naswar is the cheapest form of chewing tobacco.

It is sold as a 150 gm, green-coloured cake of raw tobacco, mixed with lime and vegetable matter, which binds it all together like dough. The cab drivers take a pinch from the cake, mould it between their fingers into a pellet and stick it under their lip.