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Cigarette prices being manipulated across Egypt, official warns

The Head of the Division of Tobacco and Cigarettes at the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC) Ibrahim Embaby warned that market traders across Egypt have been found to be illegally manipulating the pricing for cigarette packs.

Embaby added that this has created a black market for cigarettes, and warned that the matter must be stamped out at once.

The problem is also aggravated with the weak supervision of the markets, leading merchants to stockpile large quantities of cigarettes, he said.

This puts the consumer in front of two options; either buy far from the declared price, or refrain from buying the commodity, Embaby explained.

He said that the consumer must refuse to fall prey to the merchants and not pay any extra money than that on the cigarette packs – otherwise by doing so they only support this exploitation.

Embaby added that the solution lies in adding the tax tariff from the government to the prices tag on cigarettes, which is not more than two Egyptian pounds.

“There is a barcode on every pack of cigarettes. The citizen has his mobile phone. He is supposed to scan the barcode, so he will see the lot number, the price of the pack, and the date of production,” he explained.

Embaby continued, “When the seller comes asking for a higher price than what appears on the barcode, he should call 122 (the police), or the express number for consumer protection agency, to report the seller immediately.”

“If only one person exercised his rights as a consumer, this phenomenon would end completely.”

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