Fourteen men between 22 and 54 years of age have been imprisoned for smuggling around S$700,000 worth of electronic vaporisers and associated components into Singapore.
This is reportedly the largest haul to date.
According to the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) in a joint media release on Monday (5 July), officers seized a total of 54,392 pieces of the aforementioned items.
Here’s what happened.
14 People Jailed for Smuggling Over $700K Worth of E-Vaporisers & Components
On 7 June, ICA officers found the illegal items concealed in the cabin passenger seats of seven Malaysian-registered lorries.
These lorries had been used to transport none other than live chickens into Singapore.
Bet you didn’t see that coming. Who would have thought that a lorry carrying something as innocent as live chickens would also be carrying contraband items?
Investigations conducted by the HSA found that the men, who were made up of lorry drivers and attendants from the same Malaysian company, had been told to make their way to a certain location in Singapore.
A person would then approach them to collect the items from them.
The men, all of whom are Malaysian, were convicted in court last Monday (28 June) and were imprisoned for up to two months.
Individuals who have been found guilty of the sale, possession for sale, import or distribution of e-vaporisers and related components may face a fine of up to S$10,000 or imprisonment of up to six months, or both for the first offence.
Subsequent repeat offenders may face a fine of up to S$20,000, or imprisonment of up to one year or both.
HSA has stated that it will undertake strong enforcement measures against individuals who import illegal tobacco items.
In addition, all prohibited tobacco products will be seized and confiscated by HSA.
Let’s not forget that it is also an offence to possess, purchase or use prohibited tobacco products. One could face a fine of up to S$2,000 for such offences.
Man Fined $16 Million & Jailed 39 Months for Smuggling Cigarettes in Excavator Arms
Recently, a Singaporean man was fined S$16 million and imprisoned for 30 months for repeatedly dealing with duty-unpaid cigarettes.
But instead of a lorry filled with live chickens, he had hidden the cigarettes in recycled excavator arms.
He managed to evade a total goods and services tax (GST) of S$552,410.
The man is a repeat offender, and as such, his punishment was enhanced this time.
You can read more about the incident here.
Featured Image: HSA
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