SINGAPORE - A wholesaler was fined $8,000 in court on Wednesday (Nov 17) for illegally importing fresh fruits and vegetables, and processed food, for sale.
Ng Kai Hong, the licensee of Sunnyland Wholesale, had in March imported these products from Malaysia.
A lorry carrying food produce consigned to Sunnyland Wholesale was detained by Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers at Woodlands Command during a joint operation with the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) on March 23.
The case was referred to SFA, which found during its investigation that the company illegally imported about 1,756kg of undeclared and under-declared fresh fruits and vegetables, and 40kg of undeclared processed vegetables in the consignments.
All the illegal consignments were seized.
Fruits and vegetables can be imported into Singapore only by licensed importers, and every consignment must be declared and accompanied by a valid import permit.
"Illegally imported vegetables are of unknown sources and can pose a food safety risk, for example, if unregulated or high level of pesticides are used," said SFA and ICA on Wednesday.
"The long-term ingestion of excessive pesticide residues through the consumption of vegetables that have been subjected to pesticide abuse could lead to adverse health effects," they added.
Offenders who illegally import fresh fruits and vegetables can be fined up to $10,000, jailed for up to three years, or both.
Those who illegally import processed fruits and vegetables can be fined up to $1,000 and up to $2,000 for subsequent offences.