SINGAPORE - Seventeen people were arrested for peddling and possessing chewing tobacco, an illegal product, on Sunday (Aug 25) and Monday.
This is the largest number of people who have been caught for peddling Khaini tobacco, a type of chewing tobacco that has been found to cause oral cancer, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said in a statement on Tuesday.
The two-day operation was carried out by the police and HSA in Little India and a storage facility in Jurong.
Two of the peddlers were social visit pass holders and have been repatriated.
During the operation, officers found chewing tobacco hidden under a metal plate along a pavement and in a haversack placed on a shoe rack in a temple.
More than 21,000 sachets of chewing tobacco worth about $42,000 were seized in the operation.
Those arrested are currently assisting in the authorities' investigations.
It is an offence to import, distribute or sell chewing tobacco.
People who are found guilty can be fined up to $10,000, jailed for up to six months, or both.
Repeat offenders can be fined up to $20,000, jailed for up to 12 months, or both.
HSA reminded members of the public not to purchase or bring chewing tobacco products into Singapore.
The possession, purchase and use of such tobacco products are also prohibited in Singapore.
Anyone found guilty can be fined up to $2,000.
If members of the public have information on the sale of chewing tobacco, they can call HSA's Tobacco Regulation Branch on 6684-2036 or 6684-2037.