13 people convicted for selling illegal vapes: HSA
Thirteen people have been found guilty of selling electronic vaporisers, or e-cigarettes, and slapped with fines totalling $102,000, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said on Friday.
Among them is an 18-year-old, who was sentenced to reformative training.
The 13 people, aged between 18 and 44, were prosecuted by HSA and convicted between September 2022 and March 2023.
They had purchased the e-vaporisers and related components from abroad and sold them on social media and e-commerce platforms, HSA said in a statement.
The 18-year-old, Ong Guo Wei Arron, had been caught selling e-vaporisers on Instagram and WhatsApp in May 2019.
While investigations were under way, he was caught again about two months later selling e-vaporisers and their components on Instagram and Carousell.
He was sentenced on Sept 16, 2022, to undergo reformative training for a minimum of six months.
Another case involved 30-year-old Tan Jun Kai, who was caught bringing in the prohibited items through Woodlands Checkpoint in July 2019.
Investigations showed that he had smuggled the items from Malaysia on a few occasions and sold them on Telegram.
Tan was fined $37,000 on Sept 14, 2022.
It is an offence to sell, possess for sale, import or distribute e-vaporisers and related components.
Those convicted can be fined up to $10,000, jailed for up to six months, or both. The maximum sentence is doubled for repeat offenders.
From 2018 to 2022, HSA has prosecuted 101 people for selling e-vaporisers and related components.
The authority said it works closely with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority to curb illegal imports.
The highest fine the HSA has meted out was $99,000.
It is also an offence to possess, buy or use e-vaporisers and related components, and those caught may be fined up to $2,000 for each offence.
“HSA conducts active online surveillance and will continue to take strong enforcement actions against those selling e-vaporisers and related components,” said the HSA statement.
Those who have information on the illegal import, distribution, sale or offer for sale of e-vaporisers can contact HSA’s Tobacco Regulation Branch on 6684-2036 or 6684-2037 from 9am to 5.30pm on weekdays.