Malaysian woman performed illegal cosmetic procedures in Singapore

·Senior Reporter
·4-min read
Malaysia Tan Shu Min advertised and performed illegal cosmetic procedures targeting customers in Singapore. (SCREENSHOT: Carousell)
Tan Shu Min advertised and performed illegal cosmetic procedures targeting customers in Singapore. (SCREENSHOT: Carousell)

SINGAPORE — A Malaysian woman who entered Singapore to carry out illegal cosmetic procedures pleaded guilty to her charges on Thursday (6 May).

Tan Shu Min, 26, was not registered with the Singapore Medical Council and not licensed to perform aesthetic treatments including botox and nose thread lift.

She pleaded guilty to one count of performing a nose threadlift procedure on the bridge of the nose of a woman at a Singapore hotel on 27 January last year, even though she had no relevant practising license.

Apart from the contravention of the Medical Registration Act, Tan pleaded guilty to one count of importing into Singapore three syringes containing lidocaine – a substance listed in the Schedule to the Poisons Act – on 25 May 2019. She also admitted to three counts under the Health Products Act for bringing into Singapore medical devices and products without an importer's license on the same day.

Another 10 charges of a similar nature will be taken into consideration for her sentencing.

Tan advertised her services on Carousell and Instagram, using before and after photographs of individuals who underwent cosmetic procedures, which were found on the internet.

The beauty consultant felt that Singapore had a better market for botox and filler treatments, and that she could earn double the amount than in her home country. She decided to provide the treatment here in order to boost her income.

Tan began providing the services including facial treatments in 2019, using medical equipment and material such as syringes and needles. These items were bought from websites, Malaysian doctors and a beauty shop in Jurong East.

A 28-year-old woman chanced upon Tan's Instagram account in January 2019 and noticed that Tan was promoting the nose thread lift, botox and filler services. She sent a WhatsApp message to Tan about her nose threadlift treatment and both agreed to meet on 27 January at Genting Hotel Jurong.

Tan entered Singapore on 24 January and met the woman three days later. When the victim arrived at the hotel room Tan had booked, she noticed another customer who was undergoing the same treatment.

The woman then lay down on the bed and Tan sanitised her nose bridge before commencing the treatment with gloves. She injected lidocaine, an anesthetic, into the woman's nose.

As part of the procedure, Tan created a small puncture in the tip of the victim's nose using a needle, before inserting at least five threads with a syringe.

The process lasted about half an hour, with the woman noticing mild swelling on her nose thereafter. Tan gave the woman two types of medication, which she claimed to be antibiotics to reduce the swelling. The victim only ate one type as her swelling was minor.

Tan later told the woman that she could consider adding more threads to have a more defined look. She charged between $400 and $600 for the nose threadlift.

The woman emailed the Ministry of Health (MOH) the next day to report the illegal aesthetic procedures.

Tan left Singapore on 29 January 2019.

In addition, Tan rented a room in Admiralty to provide beauty treatment services to customers. Two customers arrived for treatment on 27 May 2019, and Tan administered an injection of hyaluronic acid gel on one of their faces.

At about 1pm, the authorities conducted a joint inspection at the room after receiving information that someone was providing invasive procedures. They conducted a search and seized various medical items.

MOH prosecutor Andre Tan sought six months' jail, while a HSA prosecutor asked for a fine.

The MOH prosecutor noted that Tan had a "profit motive" in targeting Singapore as she would have earned more than the same services she provided in Malaysia.

Tan's lawyer Bryan Lim said that his client was extremely remorseful and that she was only 24 at the time of the offences.

While Tan was a foreigner, she had been commuting between Johor Bahru and Singapore and had a number of friends in Singapore whom she would visit. The lawyer claimed that Tan came to Singapore to carry out her online sales, and that she had been sent by a company to provide the services here, but he could not furnish documents to show this was the case.

District Judge Adam Nakhoda adjourned the sentencing to 28 May.

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