IT LOOKS like Ghost Smoke candy has gone ‘‘poof!” in Penang.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry enforcers went out looking for it but could not find it being sold in the state.
The ministry’s Penang enforcement chief Chin Ching Chung said his team checked 25 premises including three schools for Ghost Smoke candy, but it was nowhere to be found.
“We believe this is due to media coverage lately. Many traders are aware, so they kept the candies and some had returned them to the suppliers,” he said.
Ghost Smoke candy is a powdery confectionery that, when placed in the mouth, will emit ‘smoke’ on interacting with saliva.
It became a fad with schoolchildren recently, who were enthralled by the candy that made them look like they were smoking or vaping when they consumed it.
The Health and Education ministries want the candy taken off the market.
A check at an online shopping portal showed that a box of 30 packs of Ghost Smoke candy, weighing a total of 460gm, could be bought for RM10. They come in strawberry, blueberry, apple and orange flavours.
Separately, Chin told the press conference that the ministry had begun a crackdown on the Batu Ferringhi night market, which has become a ‘haven for knockoffs’.
“Goods from designer handbags to the trendiest shoes that look like the real thing, but are actually inferior in quality, are being openly sold along the main road after dark,” he said.
In a raid on seven stalls on Wednesday night, Chin said the ministry seized RM66,000 worth of counterfeit goods.
Bags, jerseys, caps, shoes marked with brands such as Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo and Adidas were confiscated.
He said the raid was a joint effort with the state Immigration Department.
“Twenty of our enforcers and 14 Immigration officers were involved in the operation which was led by our state director Mohd Ridzuan Ab Ghapar along Jalan Batu Ferringhi from 8.30pm to 12.30am.
“The aim of the operation was to take action against foreigners who were trading without licence and traders who sold counterfeit goods.
“The Immigration Department detained two Bangladeshi men for investigation.
“One of the traders, in his 30s, was detained by the ministry and will be investigated under Section 8 of the Trade Description Act 2011.
“The other six traders were locals in their 20s and 40, and they will be called in for further investigation soon,” he said at a press conference at the ministry’s branch office in Downing Street on Thursday.
The seven cases will be investigated under Section 8 of the Trade Description Act 2011.
Under Section 8, individuals found guilty of the offence could face a fine of up to RM10,000 for each counterfeit item or a jail term of up to three years or both, upon conviction.
For the second offence, individuals found guilty could face a fine of up to RM20,000 for each counterfeit item or a jail term of up to five years or both upon conviction.