17 in Singapore fined $114,500 in total for selling e-vaporisers

More than $170,000 worth of e-vaporisers and related components were seized from the 17 offenders. (PHOTO: HSA)
More than $170,000 worth of e-vaporisers and related components were seized from the 17 offenders. (PHOTO: HSA)

SINGAPORE — Seventeen people, aged between 20 and 39, have been fined a total of $114,500 for selling e-vaporisers and related components in Singapore, said the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) on Monday (26 September).

Five of them also received jail terms of 10 to 26 days, while three were sentenced to 12 to 24 months' probation. All of them were convicted in court between February and August, HSA said in a press release.

The offenders had bought the illegal products from overseas and sold them on local social media and e-commerce platforms, HSA said. More than $170,000 worth of the products were seized.

Among the 17 offenders, the highest fine of $23,000 was given to Chelsea Tan Yan Qi, 24, who served 50 days’ jail as she could not pay the fine, it added.

Tan received help from her husband and an employee to smuggle the products from Johor Bahru into Singapore, which she sold on Telegram. She and her accomplices would use a rented car to transport her supplies.

On a few occasions, an e-vaporiser supplier in Johor Bahru had helped Tan to hide the illegal products in the door panels of the car to evade detection, said HSA. Tan's accomplices have been dealt with separately.

One of the 17 convicted, Yang Jing Tao, 21, is a repeat offender who was earlier caught selling e-vaporisers on Carousell in 2018. He was then issued with a conditional warning, under which he was not allowed to be involved in any criminal conduct for 24 months.

Between August and September 2019, Yang committed new offences by importing e-vaporiser components. He was placed under supervised probation of 12 months for his offences, HSA said.

"HSA conducts active online surveillance and will continue to take strong enforcement actions against those selling e-vaporisers and related components. We also work closely with the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority to monitor and stop illegal imports of e-vaporisers and related components," it added.

From 2018 to 2021, 70 people were prosecuted for selling e-vaporisers and their related components, said HSA. The highest fine meted out so far for such offences was $99,000.

From 1 February 2018 to 31 December 2021, 6,842 people were caught for the possession and use of e-vaporisers and their related components.

Some 12,300 e-vaporisers, around 4,500 e-liquids and about 175,000 pods and components – with a total street value of about $1.9 million – were destroyed by authorities last year.

For selling, possessing for sale, importing or distributing e-vaporisers and their related components, offenders can be fined up to $10,000, or jailed up to six months or both for the first offence.

Repeat offenders can face a fine of up to $20,000 or up to 12 months' jail or both.

Since 1 February 2018, those who possess, purchase or use e-vaporisers and their related components can be fined up to $2,000 per offence.

Members of the public who have information on the illegal import, distribution, sale, or offer for sale of e-vaporisers can submit a report at go.gov.sg/reporttobaccooffences.

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