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Health Sciences Authority

Man Jailed Five Weeks and Fined for Importing 4,560 Sachets of Chewing Tobacco

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has prosecuted Kartigesy Seledory, a 41-year-old-male, for bringing a total of 4,560 sachets of Hans Chaap khaini tobacco, which is a type of chewing tobacco, into Singapore. The street value of 4,560 sachets of chewing tobacco is estimated to be worth between $4,560 and $9,120. (Refer to Annex A in the pdf for photos)

2    Kartigesy was sentenced to five weeks’ imprisonment and fined $250. He is the fourth person to be convicted and jailed for importing chewing tobacco, which is prohibited in Singapore.

3    On 12 August 2017, Kartigesy’s vehicle was checked by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers when driving into Singapore via Tuas Checkpoint.  ICA found 2,460 sachets of Hans Chaap khaini tobacco hidden in the rear door panel and in the rear speaker panels of the vehicle.

4    Further investigations by HSA revealed that Kartigesy had also smuggled in 2,100 sachets of Hans Chaap khaini tobacco on 10 August 2017.  Kartigesy claimed he was promised $250 by his acquaintance in Malaysia each time he managed to smuggle the prohibited products into Singapore.

5     Khaini tobacco is a form of chewing tobacco that is intended to be used by placement in the mouth. It consists of moist, dark brown tobacco leaf, mixed with slaked lime or spices and has a distinctive smell.

Chewing tobacco is strictly prohibited in Singapore

6    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 emerging tobacco products. These include shisha tobacco, smokeless tobacco, and chewing tobacco such as Gutkha, Khaini, Zarda, vaporisers and their constituents.

7    Any person who is convicted of an offence is liable to a fine not exceeding $10,000, or to imprisonment for up to 6 months or to both, for the first offence and a fine not exceeding $20,000, or to imprisonment for up to 12 months or to both, for the second or subsequent offence for each count of the offence. Information pertaining to prohibited tobacco products in Singapore is available on HSA’s website.

8    In addition, since 1 February 2018, the possession, purchase and use of emerging tobacco products is prohibited in Singapore.  Any person who is convicted is liable to a fine not exceeding $2,000, for each count of the offence.

9    The public is strongly advised not to purchase or bring harmful tobacco products into Singapore.

10    HSA encourages members of the public who have information on the prohibited sale of harmful tobacco products to call its Tobacco Regulation Branch at Tel: 66842036 or 66842037 during office hours (9:00am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday).

15 NOVEMBER 2018

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