Youths jailed for selling e-vaporisers on Instagram, Telegram
Seventeen people have been convicted and fined a total of more than $114,000 for the sale of electronic vaporisers here, with five of them receiving additional jail sentences.
More than $170,000 worth of e-vaporisers and their related components were seized from the offenders, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said in a statement on Monday. Most of these products were being sold on social media and e-commerce platforms.
The 17 people, aged between 20 and 39, were all prosecuted by HSA and convicted between February and August.
HSA highlighted a case of a woman who smuggled e-vaporisers from Johor Bahru with the help of her husband and an employee of her e-vaporiser business.
Chelsea Tan Yan Qi, 24, used rented cars to transport the goods, often concealed in the door panels of the vehicles, across the Causeway on several occasions.
She then sold them in Singapore on chat apps Telegram and WhatsApp.
As Tan was unable to pay the $23,000 fine imposed on her, she was sentenced to 50 days in prison.
In another case, Benjamin Neo Song Ya, 21, and Lim Jing Jie, 23, were caught for selling e-vaporisers on Instagram and Telegram.
Investigations showed that Neo gave Lim money to buy the illegal products from China, which were then stored at Neo's residence before being sold.
Neo was fined $16,000 and jailed for three weeks, while Lim was fined $3,000 and jailed for three weeks and five days.
In a separate case, a 21-year-old offender was put on 12 months' probation for reoffending.
Yang Jing Tao was first caught selling e-vaporisers on online marketplace Carousell in 2018. He was given a conditional warning for the offence and was to refrain from any criminal conduct for 24 months.
However, he reoffended in 2019, importing e-vaporiser components in August and September that year.
It is an offence to sell, possess for sale, import or distribute such items.
Those convicted can be fined up to $10,000 and jailed for up to six months, with the maximum sentence doubled for repeat offenders.
Since 2018, HSA has prosecuted at least 70 people for selling e-vaporisers and related components. HSA said the highest fine it has meted out was $99,000.
It is also an offence to buy, possess or use e-vaporisers, and members of the public are advised not to do so.
Between February 2018 and December 2021, 6,842 people were caught and taken to task for this, said HSA.
Those caught may be fined up to $2,000 for each offence.
The authority said in its statement: "HSA conducts active online surveillance and will continue to take strong enforcement actions against those selling e-vaporisers and related components."
HSA said it works closely with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority to curb illegal imports of e-vaporisers into Singapore.
Those who have information on the illegal import, distribution, sale or offer for sale of e-vaporisers can submit a report online.
They can also contact HSA's Tobacco Regulation Branch on 6684-2036 or 6684-2037 from 9am to 5.30pm on weekdays.