Over 85,000 e-vaporisers and components seized in authorities' largest haul to date, 11 detained
SINGAPORE — More than 85,000 e-vaporisers and related components were seized at a warehouse in Mandai on Wednesday (March 29) — the Health Sciences Authority's largest haul of e-vaporisers to date.
- The police had first detained six men after they were suspected of illegally trading e-vaporisers from a van
- Further investigations then led police to a warehouse in Mandai, where a record 85,000 e-vaporisers and related components were seized
- A further five people suspected to be runners were also detained at the warehouse
SINGAPORE — More than 85,000 e-vaporisers and related components were seized at a warehouse in Mandai on Wednesday (March 29) — the Health Sciences Authority's (HSA) largest haul of e-vaporisers to date.
The warehouse full of items was discovered by HSA after the police had arrested two men and detained four others for investigations after they were suspected of illegally trading e-vaporisers from a van the day before.
Both operations led to a total of 11 people being detained for investigations or arrested.
In a joint statement by the HSA and the police on Monday, the authorities said that on the night of March 28, the police had received a call for assistance at the multi-storey car park at Blk 592 Montreal Link in Canberra.
"Upon arrival, police detained six individuals suspected to be involved in the illegal trade of electronic vaporisers (e-vaporisers) at the location," the authorities said.
The driver of the van was allegedly found to be distributing parcels containing e-vaporisers to five persons who were purportedly assisting in the delivery of the products to buyers.
Of the six detained, a 27-year-old male driver and a 26-year-old man were arrested by the police for "rash or negligent conduct with respect to any machinery in his possession".
When contacted, police were unable to comment on what the "rash or negligent act" entailed.
The authorities added that the driver was also arrested for using criminal force to deter a public servant from the discharge of his duty.
The other four men, aged between 22 and 27, are assisting in investigations.
Given the nature of the arrests, HSA officers were activated to assist in the investigation.
Following up on leads from the investigation, HSA on Wednesday conducted surveillance of a warehouse unit in Mandai, where supplies of e-vaporisers were suspected to be kept for collection by runners.
HSA then raided the unit and seized more than 85,000 e-vaporisers and related components. A total of five suspected runners, aged between 20 and 33, were also detained at the warehouse.
"This successful operation, which spanned more than 72 hours, disrupted the operations of an illegal e-vaporisers supply chain," the authorities said.
The recent haul is the largest one to date involving e-vaporiser products by the HSA, trumping a 2021 seizure of over S$2.2 million worth of e-vaporisers and related components.
Under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act 1993, the import, distribution, sale or offer for sale of imitation tobacco products such as shisha tobacco, smokeless tobacco, chewing tobacco such as Gutkha, Khaini, Zarda, electronic vaporisers and their accessories are prohibited, warned the authorities.
Convicted offenders could be jailed for up to six months, fined up to S$10,000, or both for the first offence. Second or subsequent offences attract double the punishment.
The purchase, use and possession of e-vaporisers are also prohibited.