Director and his company fined $12,300 for unlicensed sale of shisha

Rupesh Kumar Singh was fined for selling shisha at two restaurants in Kampong Glam without licences.
Rupesh Kumar Singh was fined for selling shisha at two restaurants in Kampong Glam without licences.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - A company director has been fined for selling shisha at two restaurants in Kampong Glam without licences, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said on Wednesday (June 21).

Mr Rupesh Kumar Singh was the director of Tehrani Corporation Pte Ltd which owned Nasrin Restaurant at 58 Arab Street. He was also director of Sufi Corner Pte Ltd which owned Sufi's Corner at 56 Arab Street.

Both the outlets had their tobacco retail licences revoked in 2014 for tobacco related offences.

Despite that, they continued to sell shisha tobacco molasses on multiple occasions to customers from September 2014 to November 2014, HSA said.

It is an offence to sell tobacco products without a valid licence in Singapore.

Any person found guilty can be fined up to $5,000, and in the case of a second or subsequent conviction, fined up to $10,000.

The import, sale and distribution of shisha in Singapore was banned in November 2014.

Any person who is convicted of the above offence can be fined up to $10,000 and/or jailed up to six months for the first offence.

For second and subsequent offences, the person can be fined up to $20,000 and/or jailed up to 12 months.

HSA advised the public not to purchase or bring shisha molasses or tobacco into Singapore.

Shisha smoking has been found to be more dangerous than cigarette smoking, HSA said.

"Contrary to popular belief, even after it has been passed through water, shisha smoke contains high levels of toxic compounds," HSA added.

"In fact, the burning of tobacco in a shisha pipe using charcoal actually produces high levels of carbon monoxide, nicotine and cancer-causing chemicals than cigarettes."

Each session of shisha smoking can last between 15 and 90 minutes, and this causes the smoker to be exposed to a higher level of harmful toxicants.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a person smoking shisha for 45 to 60 minutes inhales smoke equivalent to that from 100 or more cigarettes.

Advice and support on smoking cessation is available through the toll-free Quitline at 1800 438 2000 or the iQuit club at www.hpb.gov.sg/iquit.