Kartigesy Seledory was prosecuted for bringing a total of 4,560 sachets of Hans Chaap khaini tobacco, which is a type of chewing tobacco, into Singapore, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) stated on Thursday (15 November).
In a press release, the authority said that the street value of 4,560 sachets of chewing tobacco is estimated to be worth between $4,560 and $9,120.
The 41-years-old man was sentenced to five weeks’ imprisonment and fined $250. He is the fourth person to be convicted and jailed for importing chewing tobacco, which is prohibited in Singapore.
According to the authority, Kartigesy’s vehicle was checked by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers when driving into Singapore via Tuas Checkpoint on 12 August 2017. ICA's officer found 2,460 sachets of Hans Chaap khaini tobacco hidden in the rear door panel and in the rear speaker panels of the vehicle.
HSA said that its further investigations revealed that Kartigesy had also smuggled in 2,100 sachets of Hans Chaap khaini tobacco on 10 August 2017. Kartigesy claimed he was promised $250 by his acquaintance in Malaysia each time he managed to smuggle the prohibited products into Singapore.
Khaini tobacco is a form of chewing tobacco that is intended to be used by placement in the mouth. It consists of moist, dark brown tobacco leaf, mixed with slaked lime or spices and has a distinctive smell.
HSA stressed that the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act prohibits the import, distribution, sale or offer for sale of emerging tobacco products. These include shisha tobacco, smokeless tobacco, and chewing tobacco such as Gutkha, Khaini, Zarda, vaporisers and their constituents.
Any person who is convicted of an offence is liable to a fine not exceeding $10,000, or to imprisonment for up to 6 months or to both, for the first offence and a fine not exceeding $20,000, or to imprisonment for up to 12 months or to both, for the second or subsequent offence for each count of the offence. Information pertaining to prohibited tobacco products in Singapore is available on HSA’s website.
In addition, since 1 February 2018, the possession, purchase and use of emerging tobacco products is prohibited in Singapore. Any person who is convicted is liable to a fine not exceeding $2,000, for each count of the offence.
HSA strongly advises the public not to purchase or bring harmful tobacco products into Singapore.
HSA also encourages members of the public who have information on the prohibited sale of harmful tobacco products to call its Tobacco Regulation Branch.