Five Malaysian drivers jailed for smuggling chewing tobacco
Five Malaysian men have been jailed between five and 16 weeks for smuggling $213,000 worth of chewing tobacco into Singapore, said the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) yesterday.
In a press release, it said the men were caught by Immigration and Checkpoints Authority officers at Tuas Checkpoint on Sept 7.
Around 53,250 sachets of Khaini tobacco were found in black polythene bags hidden in five Malaysian-registered bowser lorries.
HSA investigations found that the five drivers were planning to go to designated carparks in Singapore to hand over the illegal tobacco to a contact person.
The five men arrested were Azman Ayob, Mohd Azizul Mohd Sahir, Zuraime Ahmad, Mohd Hairul Nizal Hamzah and Mohd Hamzie Naim, aged between 37 and 51.
Khaini is a form of chewing tobacco with a distinctive smell, consisting of moist, dark brown tobacco leaves mixed with slaked lime or spices.
HSA would like to remind the public that it is illegal to import, distribute or sell imitation tobacco products.
These include shisha tobacco, smokeless tobacco, chewing tobacco, electronic vaporisers and their accessories.
Anyone convicted of such an offence can be fined up to $10,000 or jailed for up to six months, or both. Repeat offenders can be fined up to $20,000 or jailed for up to a year.
Members of the public with information on the distribution and sale of illegal tobacco products can notify HSA at www.go.gov.sg/reporttobaccooffences
They can also contact HSA's Tobacco Regulation Branch on 6684-2036 or 6684-2037 during office hours on weekdays. - CLARISS CHIA