Errant tobacco merchants nabbed

By Stanley James, Business Editor

THE Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) has intensified the crackdown against errant players to restore order in the trading of the golden leaf.

Barely a day after two merchants were suspended, the TIMB has widened investigations into alleged acts of indiscipline by merchants and growers.

TIMB chief executive officer Meanwell Gudu disclosed the importance of the investigations.

“We can confirm that the TIMB has with immediate effect suspended the operations of two contractors that is Golden Barn Tobacco and Dynamic Tobacco for the violation of stop order regulations, manipulation of the booking system and facilitation of side marketing,” he said.

The regulatory authorities have also revealed efforts to ensure efficient and smooth trading of the golden leaf for the benefit of the economy.

“TIMB has also deactivated 438 grower numbers for suspicious trade, as TIMB works towards encouraging best practices with strict adherence to the law, the board requires all stakeholders in the industry to adhere to set regulations as non compliance will be rewarded with stiff penalties.”

Tobacco is among the key export earners for the country alongside key minerals like gold.

Despite low deliveries of the golden leaf compared to other seasons, the high quality and better prices have excited players in the tobacco value chain.