BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Brunei's Magistrate's Court slapped a hefty fine of 804,800 Brunei dollars (585,222 U.S. dollars) on two local men after they pleaded guilty to possessing a huge stash of smuggled cigarettes.
"Brunei ratified the World Health Organization Framework Convention for Tobacco Control in 2004, which is designed to reduce the devastating health and economic impact of cigarette smoking," Haan Jaun, a local lawyer, told Xinhua on Thursday.
"According to local laws, tobacco-producing and selling are strictly forbidden in Brunei and heavy duties are imposed on imported cigarettes," he said. "Those who are convicted of tobacco smuggling will face huge fines or imprisonment."
Local media the Borneo Bulletin reported on Thursday that 30-year-old Mohammad Hafiz was ordered to pay a fine of 473,600 Brunei dollars (343,802 U.S. dollars) or face two years behind bars in default of payment, and 34-year-old Mohammad Redzuan to pay a fine of 331,200 Brunei dollars (240,429 U.S. dollars) or serve two years' jail in default.
The customs prosecutor informed the court that Mohammad Hafiz possessed 11 boxes of smuggled cigarettes, consisting of 640 cartons, while Mohammad Redzuan possessed eight boxes of smuggled cigarettes containing 430 cartons.