Box-shop chain Hako stops sale of karambit knives after 12-year-old buys one

Gabriel Choo
A karambit knife. (Photo: Farrah Diba/Facebook)

Box-shop chain Hako has stopped the sale of karambit knives in its stores from merchants, after a parent complained about how her 12-year-old son managed to purchase one.

In a Facebook post on Thursday (21 September), Hako’s management, which also runs the Toy Outpost chain, said that while they have been careful not to allow merchants to sell items that are banned or infringe any law in Singapore, they decided to take a “conservative move” in asking the merchant to cease the sale of the knives. The karambit is a curved knife which originates from Indonesia, according to

“We took action and requested the merchant to put up a note stating items should not be sold to minors aged 14 and below,” said the management.

“We would strongly urge members of the public to exercise caution and discretion, and instill awareness of risks when (it) comes to purchasing of items with such ubiquitous presence,” the post added. Hako rents out lockers in its shops to people for them to sell their products from.

Just the day before, Farrah Diba’s 12-year-old boy managed to buy a karambit knife at the Hako outlet in Tampines 1. In a Facebook post on Wednesday (20 September), she shared that she was shocked that her child could so easily purchase such a weapon.

“I am appalled at how easy it is for a child in primary school to purchase this weapon without checking the age of the child. The curved blade was about 9.5cm long and it was so sharp, I could slice a thick piece of cardboard effortlessly,” wrote Farrah.

Hako said in its post that due diligence was made by the merchant beforehand by asking the Singapore Police Force if it was legal to import the knives.

The police had told the merchant that the importation of such knives was not prohibited, but it is the responsibility of individuals who possess them to ensure they are for lawful purpose. The merchant then went on to import the items for the purpose of selling them to cosplayers as they are popular among the community, Toy Outpost said.

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