The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has prosecuted 13 people for selling electronic vaporisers (e-vaporisers) and their related components online in Singapore, it said in a press release on July 28.
They were convicted in court from March to June, with the total fines amounting to S$164,500.
Bought vapes from overseas suppliers and illegally sold them online
The convicted persons were aged between 20 and 40 years.
They had purchased the e-vaporisers and their related components from overseas suppliers and sold them illegally on various local social media and e-commerce platforms.
"HSA conducts active surveillance on these platforms and will take enforcement actions against those who buy or sell such products online," HSA said.
More than S$20,000 worth of e-vaporisers and related components have been seized.
One of the offenders is 40-year-old Goh Yew Teck, who was issued with a fine of S$13,000 on May 14 for his offences of importing, advertising and offering e-vaporisers and related components.
Goh also sold unregistered medicines such as cough syrup and sleeping pills, which he purchased and smuggled from overseas and later sold on Carousell and WhatsApp.
Cough syrup bottles, painkillers, sleeping pills, and codeine phosphate tablets were found at his residence.
He was sentenced to 13 weeks imprisonment for his offences relating to these illegal health products.
Accomplices at Woodlands Checkpoint
Another offender, 29-year-old Tan Qin Woon, was convicted of multiple offences.
Tan was caught bringing in 1,164 pieces of e-vaporisers and their related components with his accomplices at Woodlands Checkpoint. Further investigations revealed that he and his accomplices were also involved in selling these prohibited items.
He was issued with a fine of S$5,000 on March 10 for his e-vaporiser related offences and sentenced to 33 months imprisonment for other offences, while his accomplices are still undergoing court prosecutions.
Used social media to sell vapes
Cha Teng Chian, aged 29, used social media platforms- Instagram, Facebook, WeChat, and WhatsApp to advertise and sell e-vaporisers and their related components.
For his offences of advertising, selling, and offering the sale of e-vaporisers and their related components, he was sentenced on May 31 with a total fine of S$53,500.
Anyone caught selling, possessing for sale, importing, or distributing e-vaporisers and their related components is liable to a fine of up to S$10,000, or an imprisonment term for up to six months, or both for their first offence.
For second or subsequent offences, they will be liable to a fine of up to S$20,000 or imprisonment for up to 12 months or both.
Anyone caught importing, manufacturing, or supplying illegal health products is liable to an imprisonment term for up to two years or a fine of up to S$50,000 or both.
From February 2018 to June 30 this year, 4,316 people were caught for the possession and use of e-vaporisers and their related components. Persons caught can be fined up to S$2,000 per offence.
Top images via HSA.