A total of 17 people have been convicted of selling electronic vaporisers (e-vaporisers) and their related components in Singapore, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said in a statement on Monday (Sep. 26).
The 17 individuals were convicted in court between February and August 2022, and were fined a total of S$114,500.
Five of them received jail sentences ranging from 10 to 26 days.
Over S$170,000 worth of vapes and components seized
The convicted persons were aged between 20 and 39, HSA said.
They had purchased the e-vaporisers and related components from overseas and sold them illegally on various local social media and e-commerce platforms.
More than S$170,000 worth of e-vaporisers and related components were seized.
Offender used rented car to smuggle supplies from JB into Singapore
One of the offenders, Chelsea Tan Yan Qi, was caught selling e-vaporisers and related components on Telegram.
The 24-year-old's husband and her employee assisted in smuggling the illicit products from Johor Bahru (JB) into Singapore.
Tan and her accomplices would use a rented car to transport her supplies from JB to Singapore.
On a few occasions, the e-vaporiser supplier in JB had also assisted to conceal the illegal products in the door panels of the rented car to evade detection.
She was sentenced to a total fine of S$23,000 for selling and offering for sale e-vaporisers and their related components.
As she could not pay the fine, she had to serve 50 days of imprisonment in lieu of the fine.
Her accomplices were dealt with separately.
21-year-old and 23-year-old imported e-vaporisers and sold them
Another pair of offenders, Benjamin Neo Song Ya, 21, and Lim Jing Jie, 23, had imported e-vaporisers and their related components from overseas and sold them on Instagram and Telegram.
Neo provided Lim with funds to purchase and import the illegal products.
After the illegal products had been imported, they were stored at Neo's residence while they advertised and sold them to potential customers.
Neo was sentenced to three weeks' jail and a S$16,000 fine, while Lim was sentenced to three weeks' and five days' jail and a S$3,000 fine.
Repeat youth offender given 12-month probation
Yang Jing Tao, 21, was caught in 2018 for selling e-vaporisers on Carousell.
He was issued a conditional warning and was to refrain from engaging in criminal conduct for a period of 24 months.
However, between August and September 2019, Yang re-offended by importing e-vaporiser components.
He was prosecuted and placed under supervised probation of 12 months for his offences.
6,842 persons caught for possessing and using vapes
From Feb. 1, 2018, to Dec. 31, 2021, 6,842 people were caught and prosecuted for the possession and use of e-vaporisers and their related components.
It is an offence to possess, purchase or use e-vaporisers and their related components. The penalty is a fine of up to $2,000 per offence, said HSA.
70 people prosecuted for selling vapes
Between 2018 and 2021, HSA said it had prosecuted 70 persons for selling e-vaporisers and their related components.
The highest fine meted out for these offences was S$99,000, said HSA.
Another offender was given one week's jail and a S$66,000 fine.
HSA said it is an offence to sell, possess for sale, import or distribute e-vaporisers and their related components.
Any person who is convicted is liable to a fine of up to S$10,000, or imprisonment of up to six months or both for the first offence, and a fine of up to S$20,000 or imprisonment of up to 12 months or both for the second or subsequent offence.
"HSA conducts active online surveillance and will continue to take strong enforcement actions against those selling e-vaporisers and related components. We also work closely with the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority to monitor and stop illegal imports of e-vaporisers and related components," said HSA.
Top photos via HSA