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Man fined for importing more than 450kg of coriander without proper permit

Man fined for importing more than 450kg of coriander without proper permit

File picture of coriander. (Photo: Pixabay/ReStyled Living)

SINGAPORE: A man was fined S$3,000 on Wednesday (Feb 26) for importing 456kg of coriander without the proper permit.

Goh Chee Wee, a 47-year-old partner at wholesaler Daily Go Fresh, admitted to one charge of importing a consignment of fresh vegetables for sale without conforming to permit descriptions.

The court heard that Singapore Food Agency (SFA) officers inspected a truck at the auction platform at Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre on Oct 7 last year.

The vehicle contained consignments of fresh fruits and vegetables from Thailand, said the SFA prosecutor.

The officers found 456kg of coriander that was not part of the amount of vegetables declared in the man's permit.

Goh had imported vegetables into Singapore for several years and "should have known" that he needed permits for each consignment of vegetables, said the prosecutor.

"456kg is not a small amount that can be dismissed as a simple oversight," he said, noting that they were mixed with other types of vegetables.

"The coriander is a high-risk vegetable, with a high risk of pesticide residue," he added.

The coriander was seized and destroyed four days later.

Stringent tests are carried out on imported coriander. If the consignment on the truck had not been detected, they would have likely been placed for sale, posing a food safety risk to consumers, said the prosecutor.

"This coriander (was later) found to be excessive in pesticide residue, posing a food safety risk to unwary consumers," said the prosecutor.

When asked if he had anything to say, Goh pleaded for leniency.

He could have been fined up to S$10,000, jailed up to three years, or both.

Source: CNA/ll(aj)

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