On 5 and 7 April 2022, Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers at Tuas Checkpoint detected 1,200 electronic vaporisers (e-vaporisers) and more than 49,000 e-vaporiser related components concealed in various compartments of three Malaysian-registered lorries entering Singapore. The street value of the seized e-vaporisers and components is estimated to be more than $300,000.
Details of the cases
2. On 5 April, ICA officers foiled an attempt to smuggle 1,200 pieces of disposable e-vaporisers into Singapore via a Malaysian-registered lorry transporting resin. The officers had directed the lorry for further checks and uncovered the disposable e-vaporisers hidden behind the driver and passenger’s seats, and below the passenger’s leg rest area.
3. On 7 April, ICA officers foiled two other attempts to smuggle e-vaporiser refill pods into Singapore via two Malaysia-registered lorries. In the first attempt, officers found black bags hidden behind the driver and passenger’s seats and uncovered a total of 36,270 e-vaporisers refill pods. In the second attempt, officers uncovered several bundles of black trash bags containing 13,125 pieces of e-vaporiser refill pods concealed underneath a blanket behind the driver and passenger’s seats.
4. Please refer to the Annex for photos of the seized items.
5. All three cases were referred to HSA for further investigation. Five Malaysian male subjects between the age of 21 and 51 years old are currently assisting HSA in the investigation.
Penalties for such offences in Singapore
6. HSA would like to remind the public that the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act prohibits the import, distribution, sale or offer for sale of imitation tobacco products. These include shisha tobacco, smokeless tobacco, chewing tobacco such as Gutkha, Khaini, Zarda, e-vaporisers and their accessories. Any person convicted of an offence is liable to a fine of up to $10,000, or imprisonment of up to six months or both for the first offence, and a fine of up to $20,000, or imprisonment of up to 12 months or both for the second or subsequent offence. All prohibited tobacco items will be seized and confiscated.
7. The purchase, use and possession of e-vaporisers is prohibited. Information pertaining to prohibited tobacco products in Singapore is available on the HSA website and more details about the harms of e-vaporisers can be found in this HealthHub article.
8. Members of the public who have information on the illegal import, distribution, sale or offer for sale of e-vaporisers can submit a report conveniently using the online form at www.go.gov.sg/reporttobaccooffences. Alternatively, they can contact HSA’s Tobacco Regulation Branch at Tel: 6684 2036 or 6684 2037 during office hours (9:00am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday).
9. Safeguarding Singapore’s borders is the top priority for ICA. Similar concealment methods may also be used by terrorists to smuggle security items into Singapore. ICA will continue to conduct security checks to detect and deter smuggling attempts, to keep Singapore safe.
Annex - Photographs for the three detections
Case 1 (5 Apr 2022)
Photo 1 (ICA): ICA officers uncovered disposable e-vaporisers at the passenger’s leg rest area.
Photo 2 (HSA): Total disposable e-vaporisers that were seized.
Case 2 (7Apr 2022)
Photo 3 (ICA): ICA officers uncovered e-vaporiser refill pods hidden behind the driver and passenger’s seats.
Photo 4 (HSA): Total e-vaporiser refill pods that were seized.
Case 3 (7Apr 2022)
Photo 5 (ICA): ICA officers uncovered e-vaporiser refill pods at the driver and passenger’s rest area.
Photo 6 (HSA): Total e-vaporiser refill pods that were seized.
IMMIGRATION & CHECKPOINTS AUTHORITY
HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITY
14 APRIL 2022