SINGAPORE - A 23-year-old man hatched a scheme with two others to steal electronic vaporiser pods from a delivery man so they could resell the illicit items for a profit.
But it all went up in smoke when the delivery man called the police and the trio were caught.
Justin Yeo Kiong Swee was sentenced to two weeks' jail and a fine of $2,000 on Oct 27. His accomplices' cases are pending.
Yeo was one of eight people prosecuted by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) between July and October this year for the illegal sale of e-vaporisers and components.
The youngest offender was aged 19.
More than $70,000 worth of e-vaporisers and components, which they bought from abroad and sold online, were seized from them.
The eight offenders were fined $57,000 in total.
The 19-year-old, Tang Wee Meng, was arrested by a police officer while trying to smuggle the goods across Woodlands Checkpoint.
He had been selling e-vaporisers on messaging platform Telegram. Tang was sentenced to 15 months' probation in July for his offences.
Another offender, Yew Chee Sian, 32, was caught trying to smuggle more than 7,000 pieces of e-vaporisers and components through parcel post to sell them.
Of the eight, Yew was given the highest fine of $40,500 for his offences under the Tobacco Act.
HSA said it had prosecuted 64 people between January 2018 and October this year for selling e-vaporisers and components.
"The highest fine meted out so far was $99,000 for the illegal sale of these prohibited items. There was also a case where one person was sentenced to one week's imprisonment and a fine of $61,000," said HSA.
Those convicted of selling, importing or distributing e-vaporisers and components can be fined up to $10,000 and jailed for up to six months for the first offence.
For repeat offenders, the maximum punishment is a fine of up to $20,000 and a jail term of up to a year.
Since Feb 1, 2018, it has been illegal to possess, buy or use e-vaporisers. The penalty is a fine of up to $2,000 for each offence.
HSA said 6,354 people were taken to task for such offences between February 2018 and October this year.