Company fined $5,000 for illegally importing 362kg of fresh fruits and vegetables

JQA had illegally imported about 362.4 kg of undeclared and under-declared fresh fruits and vegetables from Malaysia, the Singapore Food Agency said. PHOTO: SFA

SINGAPORE - A company has been fined $5,000 on Monday (July 25) for illegally importing about 362.4 kg of fresh fruits and vegetables for sale.

The company, JQA, had brought in the undeclared and under-declared fresh fruits and vegetables from Malaysia, said the Singapore Food Agency (SFA).

The illicit activities came to light on Nov 17, 2020, when a lorry delivering food to the importer was detained during a joint operation between the SFA and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority. 

The case was referred to SFA for follow-up investigations and all illegal consignments were seized, the SFA added.

The company's director, Tan Kar Jiun, was also fined $5,000 for failing prevent the offence.

In Singapore, fruits and vegetables can only be imported by licensed importers, and every consignment must be declared and accompanied with a valid import permit, SFA said.

The agency noted that illegally imported vegetables are of unknown sources and can pose a food safety risk, for instance, when unregulated or high levels of pesticides are used.

Said SFA: "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."

Offenders who illegally import fresh fruits and vegetables can be fined a maximum of $10,000, imprisoned for not more than three years, or both.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.