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Fourteen Persons Jailed for Smuggling Around $700,000 Worth of Electronic Vaporisers and Components

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has prosecuted 14 persons on 28 June 2021 for smuggling a total of 54,392 pieces of electronic vaporisers (e-vaporisers) and related components into Singapore. The street value of the prohibited products is estimated to be around $700,000 and is the largest seizure so far. (Please refer to Annex A in the PDF for photos.)

2           The 14 smugglers were aged between 22 and 54 years.  They were convicted in Court and sentenced to imprisonment terms of up to two months. Please refer to the table in Annex B in the PDF for details.  

3           The 14 smugglers comprise drivers and attendants of seven lorries from the same Malaysian company. Their attempt to smuggle the prohibited products was foiled by Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers at Tuas Checkpoint on 7 June 2021. ICA officers had found the prohibited products concealed in the cabin passenger seats of the seven Malaysian registered lorries which were used to transport live chickens into Singapore. HSA's investigations revealed that these 14 smugglers were instructed to proceed to a designated location in Singapore where they would be approached by a person who would collect the prohibited products.  

Sale, import and distribution of e-vaporisers are illegal in Singapore

4           HSA would like to remind the public that the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act prohibits the import, distribution, sale or offer for sale of harmful or imitation tobacco products. These include e-vaporisers and their components. Any person convicted of an offence is liable to a fine of up to $10,000, or imprisonment of up to six months or both for the first offence, and a fine of up to $20,000, or imprisonment of up to 12 months or both for the second or subsequent offence. HSA will take strong enforcement actions against those who import prohibited tobacco products such as e-vaporisers and their components. All prohibited tobacco products will be seized and confiscated. In addition, it is also an offence to possess, purchase or use prohibited tobacco products.  The penalty is a fine up to $2,000. 

Consumer advisory

5           The public is strongly advised not to purchase or bring prohibited tobacco products into Singapore.  Information pertaining to prohibited tobacco products, such as e-vaporisers, is available on the HSA website and more details about the harms of e-vaporisers can be found in this HealthHub article.

6             Members of the public who have information on the illegal import, distribution, sale or offer for sale of prohibited tobacco products can submit a report conveniently using the online form at www.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).

Safeguarding Singapore’s borders

7             Safeguarding Singapore’s borders remains a top priority for ICA. Those with ill intent could use similar methods of concealment to smuggle security items into Singapore. ICA will continue to thwart smuggling attempts at the checkpoints, to safeguard Singapore’s borders. 

HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITY
IMMIGRATION & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY
SINGAPORE
5 JULY 2021

Download PDF version here 1206 KB

Consumer, Tobacco control
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