If you think that our Singapore authorities are always straight-laced and serious, think again.
After the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) posted a meme on their Facebook page asking the public to “Smoke chicken, not vapes!”, I’ve had to revise my impression of our government bodies.
They definitely have a way of communicating with the public—one funny, but brilliant way.
The Meme in Question, and the Incident that Brought it On
On Thursday (10 June), ICA shared a post on their Facebook page regarding an incident that took place a few days earlier.
What really caught their audience’s eye, was the colourful photo attached to the post: a rainbow-background meme asking the public to “smoke chicken, not vapes”, complete with a picture of a roasted chicken.
The incident that prompted this meme?
On Monday (7 June) around 4am, ICA officers stationed at the Tuas Checkpoint foiled attempts to smuggle e-vaporisers and related components into Singapore.
According to ICA’s Facebook post, their officers had initially profiled a lorry transporting poultry for further checks. Upon further examination, they discovered that e-vaporisers and related components had been concealed behind the passenger seats.
With this discovery, ICA officers then proceeded to conduct checks on other similar lorries. What they found was more e-vaporisers and related parts, concealed in a similar method in six other lorries.
In total, ICA officers discovered seven Malaysian-registered lorries carrying poultry attempting to smuggle 84,573 e-vaporisers and related components.
The 14 Malaysian individuals involved in the smuggling attempt have been referred to the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) for further investigation, said ICA.
Another Smuggling Incident Back in 2020
Back in 2020 on 16 October, ICA officers similarly foiled two separate smuggling attempts in one day.
The first attempt took place at the Tuas Checkpoint, where X-ray images of a toolbox compartment underneath a Malaysia-registered lorry showed anomalies. When ICA officers conducted a further check, they discovered more than 5,000 e-vaporisers and related components wrapped in black trash bags.
The second attempt took place at Changi Airfreight Centre, where officers discovered 1,000 e-vaporisers and 24,400 refill pods inside cargo boxes that had been declared as “bags and clothes” and “clothes and toys”.
Spore’s Strict Laws on Tobacco-Related Products
As everyone knows, Singapore has strict laws on anything tobacco-related.
The importation, distribution, and sale of imitation tobacco products—including e-vaporisers—has been banned in Singapore since 2016. In 2018, the government further clarified that this included the owning of e-cigarettes and vaporisers.
Under the Tobacco Act, those found guilty of importing vapes into Singapore can be sentenced up to six months’ jail, or fined up to S$10,000, or both, for first-time offenders.
If you’re a smoker and would like to quit smoking, consider these unique ways that actually work:
Featured Image: Facebook (Immigration & Checkpoints Authority)
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