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Woman fined S$11,000 for importing and selling ‘electronic hookahs’ on Carousell

SINGAPORE — A 32-year-old woman who imported more than 200 “electronic hookahs”, which resemble e-cigarettes, was ordered to pay a fine of S$11,000 on Thursday (Dec 17).

Sarah Davinia Ng sold “Shisha Time Disposable Electronic Hookahs” in several flavours (pictured) through her Carousell account.

Sarah Davinia Ng sold “Shisha Time Disposable Electronic Hookahs” in several flavours (pictured) through her Carousell account.

SINGAPORE — A 32-year-old woman who imported more than 200 “electronic hookahs”, which resemble e-cigarettes, was ordered to pay a fine of S$11,000 on Thursday (Dec 17).

Sarah Davinia Ng used to sell clothing through e-marketplace Carousell but did not earn much profit.

The Singaporean then turned to selling the devices in early February last year. 

She was nabbed after just a month, when an undercover officer from the Health Sciences Authority’s tobacco regulation branch pretended to buy some of the illicit items.

E-cigarettes, also known as vaporisers, are illegal in Singapore.

A hookah is traditionally a water vessel used to smoke shisha, a tobacco product that has been banned here since February 2018.

Ng pleaded guilty to seven charges of importing and selling the devices under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act. Twenty-one other similar charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.

The court heard that Ng sold “Shisha Time Disposable Electronic Hookahs” in several flavours, including menthol, blueberry, grape and strawberry. They were marketed as being capable of delivering 500 puffs in a single stick.

She obtained all of her stock from online retail service AliExpress, importing 221 electronic hookahs in total.

She sold 28 pieces to six different buyers through her Carousell account, “Yard Sale Diva”.

Interested buyers would send her personal messages through Carousell or WhatsApp. 

After haggling over the appropriate package and price, they would either meet in person or Ng would accept a bank transfer and send the electronic hookahs through the mail.

If a buyer chose to hand over cash on delivery, Ng’s husband would deliver the items and give the money to her.

On Feb 26 last year, an undercover officer enquired about the price of 10 electronic hookahs. She quoted him a discounted price of S$75 instead of the usual S$80.

They then arranged to meet on March 11, close to her mother-in-law’s residence.

When Ng’s husband turned up on her behalf, he was detained for investigations. He led officers to their home where Ng was also detained.

For each charge of importing or selling imitation tobacco products, she could have been fined up to S$10,000 or jailed up to six months, or both.

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