HSA seizes record haul of chewing tobacco worth $200,000 in Woodlands
In the largest Health Sciences Authority (HSA) seizure of chewing tobacco, an ambush at a Woodlands storage facility on Feb 19 uncovered more than 118,000 sachets, worth about $200,000.
A separate raid that day also led to the seizure of electronic vaporisers (e-vaporisers) and accessories worth $50,000.
Yesterday, the HSA said preliminary investigations revealed that the stash was meant for supply to the Little India and Tuas areas.
Officers had observed a truck entering the Woodlands storage facility and a man pushing a trolley - with wrapped bundles - out of the premises soon after.
The bundles were later found to contain chewing tobacco and the man was arrested. The HSA did not give any details about the suspect.
In the second operation, a 46-year-old Singaporean who allegedly sold e- vaporisers and related accessories on messaging platform WeChat was nabbed after a tip-off.
A search of the man's vehicle and home found more than 3,600 e-vaporisers and accessories meant for sale.
He is believed to have acquired his supply from overseas, and his illicit activities came to light through online surveillance, the HSA said.
"We will continue to work with relevant agencies to clamp down on such activities and will not hesitate to take stern actions against offenders," it added.
The HSA said it is illegal to import, distribute or sell emerging tobacco products such as chewing tobacco, e-vaporisers, shisha tobacco and smokeless tobacco.
This includes online and overseas purchases.
Those convicted can be fined up to $10,000, jailed for up to six months, or both. Repeat offenders face double the maximum punishment.
Members of the public who have information on illegal activities involving e-vaporisers and chewing tobacco can call HSA's Tobacco Regulation Branch on 6684-2036 or 6684-2037 during office hours (9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday). - KOK YUFENG