Company, director fined for illegally importing food items

An import company and its director were fined on Wednesday for illegally importing fresh and processed food items.

Around 441kg of undeclared and under-declared fresh fruits and vegetables and 185kg of under-declared processed vegetables from Malaysia were seized after the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) found they were illegally imported by Jun Hang F&B.

In a joint operation conducted by the SFA and Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) last year, a truck carrying food produce consigned to Jun Hang F&B was detained by ICA officers at Woodlands Command. They referred the case to SFA, the agencies said.

The company was fined $6,500 for illegally importing fresh vegetables for sale while its director Tan Hwee Meng, 59, was fined $5,000 for failing to prevent the offence from being committed.

Food can be imported only by licensed importers and every consignment must be declared and accompanied with a valid import permit, said the statement.

Illegally imported vegetables can pose a food safety risk, for example, if they are unregulated or a high level of pesticides is used, it added. The ingestion of excessive pesticide residues through consuming vegetables that have been subjected to pesticide abuse could have adverse health effects.

Those found guilty of illegally importing fresh fruits and vegetables can be fined up to $10,000, jailed for up to three years, or both.

Safeguarding Singapore's borders remains ICA's top priority, the statement said, and it will continue holding security checks to detect and deter smuggling attempts.

SFA will continue to safeguard food safety through its integrated food safety system, which includes strict import regulations and enforcement, the statement said.

It said SFA will work closely with border control agencies to deter illegal import across Singapore's borders. - THE STRAITS TIMES