The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) of Singapore has disrupted a large-scale illegal trade of electronic vaporisers (e-vaporisers) in the country.
In collaboration with the Singapore Police Force (SPF), HSA detained six individuals suspected to be involved in the illegal trade at the multi-storey car park of Blk 592 Montreal Link on the night of 28 March 2023.
According to HSA “the driver of a van was allegedly found to be distributing parcels containing e-vaporisers to five persons purportedly assisting in the delivery to buyers”.
HSA Officers were immediately activated to assist in the investigation.
Further investigation by the HSA led to the surveillance of a warehouse unit in Mandai, where supplies of e-vaporisers were suspected to be kept for collection by runners.
On 29 March 2023, the HSA raided the warehouse unit and seized more than 85,000 e-vaporisers and related components. The operation spanned more than 72 hours, resulting in the largest seizure haul of e-vaporiser products in Singapore’s history, surpassing the 2021 seizure of over $2.2 million worth of e-vaporisers and related components.
“A total of five suspected runners (aged 20 to 33 years old) were detained at the warehouse and are currently assisting HSA in the investigation”, according to HSA press release.
The illegal e-vaporisers trade disrupted by the operation posed a significant threat to public health and safety. The use of e-vaporisers and other imitation tobacco products is hazardous to health and is not a safe alternative to smoking.
The Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act 1993 prohibits the import, distribution, sale, or offer for sale of imitation tobacco products, including e-vaporisers and their accessories.
The HSA warned the public against the serious consequences of engaging in the illegal trade of e-vaporisers and other imitation tobacco products. All prohibited tobacco items will be seized and confiscated, and the HSA will continue to take strict enforcement actions against those who flout the law.
The Act imposes strict penalties on offenders, with fines of up to $10,000 or imprisonment of up to six months or both for the first offense and fines of up to $20,000 or imprisonment of up to 12 months or both for the second or subsequent offense.
Images via HSA Singapore
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