Father and Son Duo Caught Running Illegal E-cigarette Business

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An 18-year-old teenager, whose identity remains protected under the Children and Young Persons Act, has been sentenced to reformative training after assisting in the sale of electronic cigarettes to his friends.

The teenager, who cannot be named as he was a minor at the time of the offenses, will undergo at least a year’s detention in a reformative training center to aid in his rehabilitation.

According to Channel News Asia, the teen pleaded guilty on Thursday (Jan 25) to multiple charges relating to the sale of e-cigarettes, along with separate charges for rioting and selling his Singpass account. The court considered another 16 charges during the sentencing.

According to court proceedings, the teenager’s 39-year-old Singaporean father was engaged in the illicit business of selling e-cigarettes and related paraphernalia, and both father and son possessed their own sets of e-cigarettes for personal use.

Once the teen’s friends became aware of his father’s illegal business, they started purchasing electronic cigarettes from him. The teenager would retrieve the prohibited tobacco items from his father’s stock, or his father would directly provide them to him.

The teenager would then collect payments from his friends and pass them on to his father, without making any personal profit, as per the report.

The teenager’s father admitted to being aware that his son was selling these items within school or to his friends. He claimed to have obtained the stock from an individual known only as “Cyril,” who also referred customers to him.

Court documents show that the teenager promoted the e-cigarette products on his Instagram account between May and June 2021, offering flavors and giveaways in exchange for users sharing the post.

The illegal enterprise came to the attention of the Health Sciences Authority (HSA), leading to an operation at the duo’s residence on August 25, 2021. During the raid, HSA officers seized 187 sets of e-cigarettes, 604 boxes of e-cigarette pods containing 1,812 pieces, and 115 loose pieces of e-cigarette pods.

Subsequent examination of the duo’s phones uncovered evidence of their illicit activities, with the father making a profit of approximately S$200 (US$150) before being apprehended.

However, the teenager’s involvement did not end with the e-cigarette sales. He also admitted to participating in group fights in July and August 2022.

In the latter incident, a confrontation ensued when a member of the teenager’s group questioned another member for reporting their names to the police. Additionally, the teenager confessed to selling his Singpass account details between September and October 2022. Despite being promised S$4,000, he did not receive any payment. His compromised Singpass account was subsequently used to create bank accounts, one of which was involved in the fraudulent transfer of at least S$8,300 from six scam victims.

The teenager’s father had already been sentenced to one week in jail and ordered to pay a fine of S$8,500 on January 23.

The reformative training imposed on the teenager is intended to rehabilitate young offenders, offering a structured approach to his confinement.

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