SINGAPORE: A 35-year-old man has been fined S$99,000 for illegally selling electronic vaporisers online - a record sum for the offence.
In a press release on Monday (Sep 9), the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said that it discovered Chong Weisheng's unlawful activities through online surveillance and investigation. His home at Gangsa Road was raided in March 2015.
Chong had bought the vaporisers from various overseas suppliers, advertising and reselling them on the website huntersbrew.net.
Electronic vaporisers include e-cigarettes, e-pipes, e-cigars and any battery-operated devices that deliver vaporised nicotine.
Chong took measures to avoid detection from HSA inspectors, such as changing his website domain name twice and requiring a password to access the site. Chong was also selective with his customers.
All sale transactions were titled "computer IT services" as a cover-up, HSA said.
Since 2014, the authority has prosecuted 20 people for selling electronic vaporisers. Chong's fine is the largest such penalty since 2014, when an offender was fined S$64,500.
Chong faced 171 charges under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act. He pleaded guilty to 33 charges and the rest were taken into consideration for sentencing.
Anyone convicted of selling, importing or distributing electronic vaporisers can be fined up to S$10,000, jailed for up to six months, or both for each charge. The punishment is doubled for second-time and repeat offenders.
The use, purchase or possession of electronic vaporisers is also punishable with a fine of up to S$2,000.