FBR Seals Fake Cigarette Factory in Rawalpindi

News Desk3 months ago
FBR Seals Fake Cigarette Factory in Rawalpindi

On Wednesday, a Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) team conducted a raid on a fake cigarette manufacturing facility situated in the Jhangi Syedan area of Rawalpindi. According to an official statement, the operation was carried out under the direction of Member (IR-Operations) Mir Badshah Khan Wazir, and the counterfeit factory was promptly sealed under the supervision of the Chief Commissioner of the Regional Tax Office Rawalpindi.

Heading the raid was Additional Commissioner Headquarters Riaz Khan, with Assistant Director Shujaat Khan and his team executing the operation. The Regional Tax Office team successfully seized machinery and counterfeit cigarettes valued at millions of rupees before sealing the clandestine factory, which had been operating discreetly in the basement of a building. The facility was clandestinely producing and distributing fake cigarettes of various brands throughout Pakistan, the statement disclosed.

Hazards of Counterfeit factory

Counterfeit cigarette factories present numerous threats, extending beyond the health risks for smokers to encompass the broader community, environment, and well-being of those employed within these illicit operations. Let’s delve into the various dangers:

Public Health

Hazardous Ingredients: Counterfeit cigarettes, lacking stringent quality control, may harbor harmful substances absent in genuine products. These include:

Toxic Chemicals: Counterfeit cigarettes have been found to contain lead, arsenic, pesticides, and even rat droppings, heightening the risk of cancer, respiratory issues, and heart problems.

Addictive Additives: Highly addictive chemicals might be employed by counterfeiters to enhance product appeal, increasing the likelihood of dependence and withdrawal symptoms.

Environmental Damage

Improper Waste Disposal: Inadequate waste disposal in these factories can release chemicals and heavy metals into the environment, polluting soil, water, and air.

Fire Hazards: Improper storage of chemicals and combustible materials poses a significant fire risk, potentially threatening nearby residents and property.

Also Read: FBR Chairman Says Punishments Still Valid in Month of January

Safety Concerns

Explosions: Leaky gas cylinders, faulty wiring, and volatile chemicals create an explosion risk within the factory, endangering workers’ lives.

Poor Working Conditions: Counterfeit factories often operate in cramped, unsanitary spaces with insufficient ventilation, exposing workers to toxic fumes, dust, and hazardous chemicals, leading to respiratory problems, skin diseases, and other health issues.

Exploitation and Child Labor: The unregulated nature of counterfeit operations can result in worker exploitation, including forced labor and the use of child labor.

Economic Issues

Tax Evasion: Counterfeit cigarettes deprive the government of crucial tax revenue earmarked for essential public services like healthcare and education.

Unfair Competition: Counterfeit products undercut legitimate tobacco companies, impacting their business and potentially leading to job losses.

Social Implications

Crime and Corruption: Counterfeit cigarette production is often associated with organized crime and corruption, contributing to instability and undermining the rule of law.

Public Health Burden: The additional health problems caused by counterfeit cigarettes strain healthcare systems and resources, creating a broader societal burden.

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