SINGAPORE: Ten people were convicted between November 2021 and last month for illegally selling electronic vaporisers and related components online.
More than $30,000 worth of items were seized, said the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) in a news release on Friday (Feb 18).
The offenders, who were aged between 19 and 36 years old, were fined a total of S$104,800.
They had purchased the e-vaporisers and the components from overseas and sold them illegally on various local social media and e-commerce platforms, said HSA.
CONVICTED FOR SELLING ON TELEGRAM
One of the offenders, Andy Yap Wen Rong, used Telegram to advertise the products.
The 22-year-old would purchase and smuggle his stocks from Malaysia.
“He had resorted to selling them on Telegram after his failed attempt to advertise them on Carousell,” said HSA.
Yap was sentenced to a total fine of $35,000 on Nov 25, 2021, it added.
CAUGHT SMUGGLING AND SELLING PROHIBITED PRODUCTS
Another offender was caught bringing in the illegal products through Woodlands Checkpoint.
Further investigations revealed that Damien Tng Jia Kang, 26, also sold the prohibited items on WhatsApp.
For this Tng was sentenced to a total fine of S$13,500 for his offences under the Tobacco Act on Dec 16, 2021.
A foreign student studying in Singapore, Chen Xin, 23, was caught dealing with duty-unpaid cigarettes by the Singapore Customs, said HSA.
“Further investigations revealed that he was also selling e-vaporisers and related components on WhatsApp and WeChat.”
He was sentenced to a total fine of S$22,500 for the e-vaporiser related offences, and S$9,500 for dealing with duty-unpaid cigarettes on Jan 6, 2022, added the authority.
HSA reminded members of the public that it is an offence under the Tobacco Act to sell, possess for sale, import or distribute e-vaporisers and their related components.
“HSA conducts active online surveillance and will continue to take strong enforcement actions against those selling e-vaporisers and related components,” it said.
“We also work closely with the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority to monitor and stop illegal imports of e-vaporisers and related components.”
Any person who is convicted may be fined up to S$10,000, jailed up to six months, or both for the first offence. Those who re-offend may be fined up to S$20,000, jailed up to one year or both.
Seventy-four people have been prosecuted for selling e-vaporisers and their related components between Jan 1, 2018, and Jan 31, 2022, said HSA.
Since February 2018, those who possess, purchase or use these items can be fined up to S$2,000 per offence if convicted.
More than 7000 people have been caught for possession and use of e-vaporisers and related components between Feb 1, 2018, and Jan 31, 2022, HSA said.