SINGAPORE: More than 85,000 electronic vaporisers and related components were seized in a warehouse raid conducted by Singapore's Health Sciences Authority (HSA).
This is the largest seizure of e-vaporiser or vape products by HSA, surpassing a haul in 2021 where more than S$2.2 million worth of products were confiscated, said HSA and the police in a joint press release on Monday (Apr 3).
The raid was the result of HSA following up on leads from investigating a group of people suspected to be involved in the illegal trade of e-vaporisers.
On Mar 28, six of these individuals were detained by the police at a multi-storey car park at Block 592 Montreal Link.
"The driver of a van was allegedly found to be distributing parcels containing e-vaporisers to five persons purportedly assisting in the delivery to buyers," said the authorities.
A 27-year-old male driver was arrested for using criminal force to deter a public servant from the discharge of his duty.
The driver and a 26-year-old man were also arrested for rash or negligent conduct with respect to any machinery in possession.
The next day, HSA surveilled a warehouse unit in Mandai, where supplies of e-vaporisers were suspected to be kept for collection by runners.
Apart from more than 85,000 vape products which were seized in a subsequent raid, five suspected runners aged 20 to 33 were also detained at the warehouse, and are currently assisting HSA in investigations.
HSA and the police said the operation, which lasted more than 72 hours, disrupted an illegal e-vaporisers supply chain.
Under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act, it is an offence to import, sell or distribute vape products.
Those found guilty for the first time can be fined up to S$10,000, jailed for up to six months, or both.
Subsequent offences double the penalties to a fine of up to S$20,000, a jail term of up to a year, or both.
Vaping is illegal in Singapore. The purchase, use and possession of e-vaporisers are also prohibited.