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Eight Persons, Including One Youth, Convicted for Illegal Sale of Electronic Vaporisers Online: Total Fines Amount to over $50,000

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has prosecuted eight persons for selling electronic vaporisers (e-vaporisers) and related components in Singapore. They were convicted in Court in the period of July 2021 to October 2021, with total fines amounting to $57,000 (refer to Annex A for details).

2      The convicted persons were aged between 19 and 32 years. They had purchased the e-vaporisers and related components from overseas and sold them illegally on various local social media and e-commerce platforms. More than $70,000 worth of e-vaporisers and related components were seized (refer to Annex B for photos).

HIGHLIGHTS OF SOME CASES

Youth offender placed under 15-month probation for selling e-vaporisers and related components online

3        Tang Wee Meng, aged 19 years, was caught selling e-vaporisers and related components on Telegram. Tang’s illegal activities were detected when he was apprehended by a police officer for trying to smuggle his stocks at Woodlands Checkpoint.

4     Tang was sentenced to 15 months’ probation on 23 July 2021 for offences relating to importing, advertising as well as offering for sale e-vaporisers, related components, and e-liquids with nicotine.

Offender convicted for multiple offences

5       Khong Soon Kee Michael, aged 31 years, was caught advertising and selling e-vaporisers and related components on Facebook. He was sentenced to a total fine of $7,000 for advertising, sale and offer for sale of e-vaporisers and their related components on 28 July 2021.

Offender caught for e-vaporiser related offences on multiple occasions

6        Yew Chee Sian, aged 32 years, was caught bringing in over 7,000 pieces of e-vaporisers and their related components with his accomplice through parcel post. Further investigations revealed that Yew and his accomplice were also involved in selling these prohibited items.

7        Yew was sentenced to a total fine of $40,500 for his offences under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act on 16 September 2021. The investigations against his accomplice are still ongoing.

Offender arrested for theft of e-vaporiser pods


8      Yeo Kiong Swee Justin, aged 23 years, arranged to buy e-vaporiser pods from a seller. However, he had hatched a plan with two accomplices to take the e-vaporiser pods without paying and to resell them for a profit. Together with his two accomplices, Yeo stole the pods from Phang Zhi Hui, who was delivering the products on behalf of the seller, and drove off. Phang called the police which led to the trio being caught.

9     Yeo was sentenced to a total fine of $2,000 for possession for sale of e-vaporisers components and to two weeks’ imprisonment for stealing the pods, on 27 October 2021. Phang was fined $2,000 for his e-vaporiser related offences. The court hearing for Yeo’s accomplices is pending.

E-VAPORISERS STRICTLY PROHIBITED IN SINGAPORE

10      HSA would like to remind the public that it is an offence under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act to sell, possess for sale, import or distribute e-vaporisers and their related components.  Any person who is convicted is liable to a fine not exceeding $10,000, or to an imprisonment term for up to 6 months or to both for the first offence, and to a fine not exceeding $20,000 or to imprisonment for up to 12 months or to both for the second or subsequent offence.

11      From 1 January 2018 to 31 October 2021, HSA has prosecuted 64 persons for selling e-vaporisers and their related components.  The highest fine meted out so far was $99,000 for the illegal sale of these prohibited items. There was also a case whereby one person was sentenced to 1 week’s imprisonment and a fine of $61,000 for selling e-vaporisers and their related components.

12      HSA conducts active online surveillance and will continue to take strong enforcement actions against those selling e-vaporisers and their related components. We also work closely with the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority to monitor and stop illegal imports of e-vaporisers and related components.

13     Since 1 February 2018, it is also an offence to possess, purchase or use e-vaporisers and their related components. The penalty is a fine of up to $2,000 per offence. From 1 February 2018 to 31 October 2021, 6,354 people were caught and taken to task for the possession and use of e-vaporisers and their related components. Information pertaining to the prohibition of e-vaporisers in Singapore is available on HSA’s website.

14      Members of the public who have information on the illegal import, distribution, sale or offer for sale of e-vaporisers can submit a report conveniently using the online form at go.gov.sg/reporttobaccooffences. Alternatively, they can contact HSA’s Tobacco Regulation Branch at Tel: 6684 2036 or 6684 2037 during office hours (9:00am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday).

HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITY
SINGAPORE
16 NOVEMBER 2021

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Consumer, Healthcare professional, Industry member, Tobacco control
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