SINGAPORE: A Malaysian beauty consultant came to Singapore to perform illegal invasive beauty procedures on customers, administering a local anaesthetic and prescribing medication out of a hotel room on one occasion.
One of her customers, who hired the beauty consultant for a nose thread lift procedure, reported the woman to the Ministry of Health (MOH) after the treatment.
The nose augmentation procedure involves inserting threads into the nose to enhance the shape of it.
Tan Shu Min, 26, pleaded guilty on Thursday (May 6) to three charges under the Health Products Act of importing health products without a valid licence, one charge under the Medical Registration Act of performing a nose thread lift procedure when she was not a registered medical practitioner and another under the Poisons Act of importing syringes containing lignocaine, a local anaesthetic.
Another 10 charges will be considered in sentencing.
The court heard that Tan was working in Malaysia when she decided that she could make better earnings in Singapore after converting the currency into ringgit. She thought that Singapore has a better market for beauty procedures for botox and filler, the court heard.
In early 2019, she began advertising her services for botox, filler injections and other beauty treatments on Instagram, by posting before and other photos she found on the Internet.
In January 2019, a victim chanced upon the Instagram account sg_aesthetics26 and sent a WhatsApp message to Tan asking about her beauty treatments.
They agreed to meet at Genting Jurong Hotel at 11am on Jan 27, 2019. A few days before that, Tan entered Singapore from Malaysia via Tuas Checkpoint and checked in to the hotel.
She met the victim on the planned date, and the victim noticed that Tan was in the middle of attending to an unidentified customer when she arrived.
She asked the victim to lie down, and put on surgical gloves, cleaned the victim's nose bridge with alcohol and injected lidocaine into her nose before inserting more than five threads inside.
As there was mild swelling around the victim's nose, Tan gave her two types of oral medication that she claimed were antibiotics. The victim paid her S$400 to S$600 for the procedure, the court heard.
After this, Tan suggested via WhatsApp that the victim consider adding more threads for a more defined look.
Subsequently, the victim sent MOH an email to say that a Malaysian woman was offering illegal aesthetic treatments such as fillers and augmentation for double eyelids and breasts and advertising the services on an Instagram account.
After receiving feedback, the authorities conducted a joint inspection and nabbed Tan, seizing syringes containing lidocaine.
Tan was not registered with the Singapore Medical Council and did not have any certificate authorising her to carry out those procedures.
PROSECUTION SEEKING SIX MONTHS' JAIL AND FINE
The case was handled jointly by prosecutors from MOH and the Health Sciences Authority. The MOH prosecutor called for at least six months' jail for charges under the ministry's purview, and the HSA prosecutor asked for fines for the charges of importing health products without a licence.
MOH prosecutor Andre Moses Tan highlighted Tan's motive for profit and the fact that she entered Singapore to commit the offence.
"She targeted Singaporean residents on the basis that with the exchange rate she would earn higher profits than in Malaysia," he said.
The defence asked for four weeks' jail and a lower fine, saying his client was extremely remorseful and that her period of offending was not more than five months.
She has been "bouncing between Singapore and Johor where her family is based" and has spent a lot of time in her life in Singapore, he said.
The judge adjourned sentencing to May 28.