1.1 tonnes of illegally imported vegetables and fruits seized at Woodlands Checkpoint
About 1.1 tonnes of illegally imported vegetables and fruits from Malaysia were seized by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) on Nov 14 and 15.
On both days, SFA and Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) conducted a joint operation targeting delivery trucks which typically transport fresh and processed vegetables and fruits intended for direct distribution to retailers and customers.
ICA officers at Woodlands Checkpoint noticed discrepancies in the consignment transported by two trucks and referred them to SFA for further checks, SFA and ICA said in a joint statement on Nov 28.
About 1.1 tonnes of undeclared and under-declared produce such as bayam, kailan, caixin, mango, pineapple, xiao baicai, Japanese cucumber and brinjal imported by two importers were seized.
SFA is following up with further investigations.
Fruits and vegetables can be imported only by licensed importers, and every consignment must be declared and accompanied with a valid import permit, the two agencies said in the statement.
Illegally imported produce is of unknown sources and can pose a food safety risk - if unregulated or excessive pesticides are used. The long-term ingestion of excessive pesticide residues in vegetables and fruits could lead to adverse health effects, the agencies added.
Those found guilty of illegally importing fresh fruits and vegetables can be fined up to $10,000, jailed up to three years, or both.
First-time offenders who illegally import processed fruits and vegetables can be fined up to $1,000, while repeat offenders can be fined up to $2,000.