SINGAPORE – Officers from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) foiled an attempt to smuggle more than 1,400 e-vaporisers into Singapore on the third day of Chinese New Year.
The e-vaporisers were hidden in various compartments of a Singapore-registered car, and were detected after the vehicle was made to go through an X-ray scan.
In a post on Facebook on Friday, ICA said that even though there was heavy traffic at the checkpoints during the holiday season, its officers had conducted checks on the car on the third day of the Chinese New Year.
They initially found a single e-vaporiser in the car, but later directed it to go for further checks.
“Anomalies were detected in the scanned images and 1,452 e-vaporisers were found concealed in between various compartments of the car,” ICA said.
Photos showed boxes of the products concealed behind the sidewalls of the car and in a piece of luggage.
ICA said the case has been referred to the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) for further investigation. “As guardians of our borders, ICA is committed to facilitating trade and safe travels while keeping Singapore’s borders safe and secure,” it said.
It was previously reported that illicit vaping has been on the rise here.
There were almost four times the number of people caught in 2022 than in 2020 for using and possessing e-vaporisers, according to figures from HSA.
In 2022, 4,916 people were caught, compared with 1,266 in 2020 and 4,697 in 2021.
Those caught for using and possessing vaping products can be fined up to $2,000.
From 2018 to 2022, 860 people were caught selling and smuggling e-vaporisers, and 145 were prosecuted in the same period.
Anyone convicted of selling, offering for sale, possessing for sale, importing or distributing e-vaporisers can be fined up to $10,000 and jailed for up to six months.