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More than S$130,000 worth of e-vaporisers and components seized at land checkpoints

More than S$130,000 worth of e-vaporisers and components seized at land checkpoints

E-vaporisers and related components seized at the land checkpoints. (Photo: Health Sciences Authority)

SINGAPORE: Thousands of electronic vaporisers and related components worth more than S$130,000 were seized after officers from the Immigrations and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) foiled three smuggling attempts at the Tuas and Woodlands Checkpoints. 

In a joint press release with the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) on Wednesday (May 25), ICA said its officers found a total of 3,200 e-vaporisers and more than 17,000 related components concealed in various compartments of three Malaysia-registered lorries on May 9 and May 13. 

On May 9, ICA officers uncovered an attempt to smuggle 8,520 e-vaporiser refill pods into Singapore via a Malaysia-registered lorry transporting precast concrete. 

Officers at Tuas Checkpoint directed the lorry for further checks and uncovered the pods underneath a makeshift bed in the vehicle's cabin. 

ICA officers uncovered e-vaporiser refill pods underneath the make-shift bed in the vehicle’s cabin. (Photo: Immigration and Checkpoints Authority)

In two separate cases on May 13, ICA officers detected attempts to smuggle disposable e-vaporisers and refill pods into Singapore via two Malaysia-registered lorries. 

In the first case, officers at Tuas Checkpoint found black bags disguised as a makeshift bed in the vehicle's cabin and found 3,200 disposable e-vaporisers and 6,000 refill pods.

ICA officers uncovered disposable e-vaporiser and e-vaporiser refill pods being disguised as a makeshift bed in the vehicle’s cabin. (Photo: Immigration and Checkpoints Authority)

In the second case, authorities at Woodlands Checkpoint uncovered several bundles of black trash bags concealed underneath the driver’s seat and on top of the vehicle’s cabin. A total of 2,700 e-vaporiser refill pods we found.

All three cases were referred to HSA for further investigation, said ICA.

Four Malaysian men aged between 27 and 52 are currently assisting HSA in the investigation. 

ICA officers at Woodlands Checkpoint uncovered part of the e-vaporiser refill pods underneath the driver’s seat. (Photo: Immigration and Checkpoints Authority)

SEVEN CASES DETECTED SINCE APRIL 

Since Apr 1 this year, ICA said it has detected seven cases involving the smuggling of e-vaporisers and related components in Malaysia-registered lorries at the checkpoints. 

Two of the Malaysian men involved in one of the cases were convicted in court on Apr 12 and sentenced to one week jail and fined S$1,500. The remaining six cases are pending investigations or court actions.

HSA reminded members of 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 shisha tobacco, smokeless tobacco, chewing tobacco such as Gutkha, Khaini, Zarda, e-vaporisers and their accessories.

"HSA takes a serious view of such cases and will take prosecution actions against such offenders," said the authorities.

Any person convicted of an offence is liable to a fine of up to S$10,000, a jail term of up to six months, or both for the first offence. 

For second and subsequent offences, those found guilty may be fined up to S$20,000, jailed up to 12 months, or both. 

Source: CNA/lk(zl)

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