A 27-year-old Singaporean male was caught smuggling thirty-two electronic vaporisers and 635 electronic liquid cartridges, said Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and Health Sciences Authority (HSA) in a joint press release on Thursday (11 July).
The authorities stated that ICA’s officers detected six sets of electronic vaporisers (e-vaporisers) and 223 electronic liquid cartridges concealed in an arriving Singapore-registered car’s gear shift compartment on 5 July 2019.
The man, who was suspected to be under the influence of drugs, was subsequently referred to the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) and HSA for investigations.
According to the authority, further investigations uncovered that the suspect had hidden another 26 sets of
e-vaporisers and 412 electronic liquid cartridges in a SingPost POPStation.
The suspect is currently assisting CNB and HSA in the investigations, added the authority.
The authorities stressed that e-vaporisers are strictly prohibited in Singapore.
HSA stated that it takes a very serious view of the smuggling and peddling of e-vaporisers and will continue to clamp down on such activities.
It noted that ground operations conducted from April to June 2019 had put a stop to the activities of 15 such peddlers operating in Singapore.
These cases are currently under investigations, HSA noted.
Offenders can be fined up to $10,000 or jailed up to six months or both. The use, purchase or possession of electronic vaporisers is also an offence, punishable with a fine up to $2,000.
Members of the public who have information on the illegal importation, distribution or sales of e-vaporisers can contact the Tobacco Regulation Branch at Tel: 6684 2036 or 6684 2037 during office hours (9:00 am to 5:30 pm, Monday to Friday).
The authorities stated that the public should not purchase any e-vaporisers, including through the Internet,
to be brought into Singapore. The public should also refrain from using e-vaporisers and discard any e-vaporisers they have in possession.
It said that individuals seeking to quit smoking should seek professional medical advice. Advice and support on smoking cessation is also available through the toll-free Quitline at 1800 438 2000 or the iQuit club.
“Our borders are our first line of defence in safeguarding Singapore’s security. ICA will continue to conduct security checks on passengers, cargos and vehicles at the checkpoints to prevent attempts to smuggle undesirable persons, drugs, weapons, explosives and other contrabands across our borders,” ICA said.
According to ICA, the same methods of concealment used by contraband smugglers may be used by terrorists to smuggle arms and explosives to carry out attacks in Singapore.