SINGAPORE, Dec 28 — Four people between 16 and 24 years old were nabbed for allegedly bringing in electronic vaporisers from Malaysia via the Tuas Checkpoint on Dec 21, two days after the Singapore authorities announced that they were stepping up enforcement checks at checkpoints to clamp down on vaping.
In a joint statement today, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) and Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said that based on investigations, the suspects had bought the e-vaporisers and related components from a mall in Johor Bahru.
They then tried to enter Singapore using a car rented from a car-sharing platform.
However, ICA officers at Tuas Checkpoint spotted and directed the Singapore-registered car for secondary checks.
“During the inspection, officers uncovered 25 pieces of e-vaporisers and related components hidden below the driver’s and passenger’s seats, within a bag of food and within one of the subject’s clothing,” the agencies said.
The seized e-vaporisers and components are estimated to have a street value of more than S$200.
E-vaporisers are battery-operated devices that deliver vapourised nicotine for users to inhale. They come in forms such as e-cigarettes, e-pipes, e-cigars and the like.
The four suspects, aged 16, 18, 20 and 24, are being investigated for their alleged involvement in importing e-vaporisers into Singapore.
The authorities warned that they will not hesitate to take stern enforcement actions against those who conduct illegal activities such as importing or selling prohibited e-vaporisers to members of the public.
Under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act, any person convicted of such an offence for the first time can be jailed up to six months or fined up to S$10,000, or both.
Repeat offenders can be jailed up to 12 months or fined up to S$20,000, or both.
The possession, use or purchase of e-vaporisers is illegal and carries a maximum fine of S$2,000.
“Safeguarding Singapore’s borders remains a top priority for ICA. ICA will continue to conduct security checks and work with relevant authorities to detect and deter smuggling attempts so as to keep Singapore safe,” ICA and HSA said. — TODAY