ARRESTS IN RAIDS ON SLUM MARKETS
Rotten meat seized in raid on vendors
Illegal markets where cheap meat and alcohol are sold to low-paid workers have been hit in a series of raids by the authorities.
Police and municipal officials shut down at least two markets in Abu Dhabi and Dubai at the weekend, officials said yesterday.
The ‘Bengali Bazaar’ in Abu Dhabi’s Musaffah area was cleared out and 11 people were arrested. Some 72 tonnes of goods were confiscated from stalls.
Meanwhile, in Dubai, 35 tonnes of meat, some of it stored in dirty tarpaulins, were seized in the Muhaisnah area.
Abu Dhabi Municipality said it moved on the Musuffah market on Thursday night, when vendors set up stalls.
The market stretched for some 500 metres in Industrial Area 11.
Last Monday, 7DAYS reported that the slum market had relocated after similar sweeps in May of last year.
On Thursday, tonnes of fruit and vegetables, meat, slaughtered animals, live birds, clothes and shoes, blankets, electrical products and children toys were seized.
The municipality also said illegal tobacco, such as pan and niswar and cooked food items kept in the hot sun were seized. People involved in gambling and other illegal activities were also caught and gambling tables were confiscated. Some vendors were hit with fines, though the municipality did not state how much these were. “The crackdown is part of a campaign of programmes organised by Abu Dhabi Municipality, with the aim of maintaining the civilised appearance of cities and removing things that deform the public image,” a municipal official said. “The campaigns also aim to protect the health and safety of people from the dangers of products that are illegally displayed for sale and under direct sunlight by unlicensed street vendors.” Last week, vendors told 7DAYS they are forced to sell goods on their Friday off to supplement their incomes. One Bangladeshi vendor, Noordin Khalid, who was selling fruits and vegetables, said he and many others earn as little as Dhs800 per month.
“So I come here every Friday to make an extra income through selling fruits and vegetables to labourers,” he said at the time. He said he made between Dhs100 to Dhs200 from selling cheap vegetables.
Last May, the original market was raided on a Thursday night as vendors set up their stalls for the following day.
Officials said workers on low wages are tempted to risk buying meat in such conditions, but should avoid them for the sake of their health.
DIRTY: Dubai Municipality said meat and poultry was stored in tarpaulins in hot temperatures