ISLAMABAD - As part of the ongoing campaign against smuggled cigarettes, the police conducted raids on multiple prominent retail outlets in the Punjab metropolis and seized a huge consignment of smuggled brands.

Some of the retail outlets raided includes the famous Gulberg Juice Corner in Main Market and Bilu Pan Shop in Liberty Market, the local police said Saturday.

The smuggled cigarettes worth thousands of rupees were recovered from both shops, which were being sold without the mandatory health warning and the proprietors of the retail establishments were also taken into custody and cases were registered against them. The seized packs consisted of multiple brands such as Pine, Hilite, Marlboro, Benson & Hedges, London and Esse.

The cigarettes illegal trade is an increasingly grave problem for the country, a menace that has cost Pakistan, according to some estimates, more than 80 billion rupees over the last five years.

In the light of the far reaching and alarming repercussions these illegal activities entail for the government, law enforcement agencies have recently stepped up their enforcement efforts to curb this problem.

Reportedly these cigarettes being smuggled from Afghanistan through porous western borders of Pakistan come without the requisite health warnings and do not comply with any local regulations.