Beautician who performed illegal Botox and filler injections jailed 10 weeks, fined $16,000

Duong Bang Anh pleaded guilty to two charges each under the Health Products Act and Medical Registration Act.
Duong Bang Anh pleaded guilty to two charges each under the Health Products Act and Medical Registration Act.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - A 32-year-old woman who performed illegal Botox and filler procedures at her beauty salon was jailed 10 weeks and fined $16,000 on Thursday (Sept 23).

Duong Bang Anh, a Singapore permanent resident from Vietnam, was not authorised to perform such procedures as she is not a licensed medical practitioner.

A friend had helped her illegally import the treatment products from Vietnam to her home in Jurong West last year.

She pleaded guilty on Thursday to two charges each under the Health Products Act and Medical Registration Act. Another eight similar charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.

The court heard that Duong performed filler and Botox injections on two Singaporean women between 2018 and 2019.

One of the victims contacted Duong after seeing her Instagram account, where she advertised the procedures. She made an appointment to have filler injections on her cheeks and chin for $800.

When she went for her appointment at K Beauty salon in Jurong Gateway Road in May 2019, she was told to go to an area that was partitioned off.

While she was on the treatment bed, Duong applied numbing cream on the woman's face and assured her that the products were "from doctors" and "safe to use".

She also told the victim that she provided training to customers who wanted to learn how to perform Botox and filler injections for a fee of $3,000.

The victim experienced pain during the treatment but completed it. She subsequently felt swelling on her cheeks and reported the incident to the Health Sciences Authority (HSA).

The second victim, aged 25, heard about the Botox and filler services from a friend and contacted Duong to ask about treatments to "attain a V-shape face and dimples".

Duong lied that she was medically trained in Vietnam and had a valid licence to perform Botox treatments in Singapore.

The victim received a few filler and Botox injection treatments from Duong between November 2018 and August 2019. Court documents did not state how much she spent on the treatments.

The victim complained that she felt pain and numbness in her cheeks in early 2019 after a procedure, but Duong assured her that nothing was wrong and that all the products used were good and expensive.

Duong's offences came to light when officers from the Ministry of Health and HSA raided her salon in July last year and seized eight boxes of Neuronox Purified Botulinum Toxin Type A Complex and 20 boxes of Celosome Implant with Lidocaine (syringe).

Duong was in the process of injecting Botox into the arm of a 22-year-old customer at the time.

According to HSA, Neuronox Purified Botulinum Toxin Type A Complex is an unregistered therapeutic product used for treating foot deformity and serious wrinkles.

The Celosome Implant with Lidocaine (syringe) is classified as a medical device.

For performing medical procedures without a licence, Duong could have been jailed for up to a year and fined up to $100,000.

The maximum penalty for importing a health product without a licence is a two-year jail term and $50,000 fine.