24-hour vending machines selling sex toys in Geylang: How to keep minors from buying?

A 24-hour "self-service adult shop" selling sex toys along Geylang Road has sparked concerns about its accessibility to youngsters.

A reader had informed Shin Min Daily News about MimiBox, which is located at the Le Regal complex and the first such shop here.

When Shin Min reporters visited the scene, they saw that the shop had five vending machines and a cabinet displaying various sex toys such as vibrators, lubricant and extenders.

The price of the items range from $10 to over $100.

All buyers have to do is to enter the 'serial number' accompanying their desired product and then insert cash into the machine.

The shop, which has a simple decor, is unmanned but installed with CCTV cameras and fans.

Besides a message that says "18+ only" on the shop's glass door, it is also stated on one vending machine that only those above 18 years old are allowed to purchase the sex toys and offenders will be handed over to the police.

However, sceptics said that it would be difficult to ensure that minors are not making purchases from MimiBox since the shop is unstaffed and no identity verification is required to use the vending machines.

On the other hand, some also pointed out that with the popularity of online shopping nowadays, it would not be difficult for minors to buy similar products on the Internet.

According to The New Paper, several shopkeepers in the vicinity said they have seen students in uniform entering the shop. One even described business at MimiBox as "brisk".

TNP understands that the sale of adult toys on the premises is approved by the authorities.

However, lawyers said there might be an issue if someone under 21 is able to buy the items.

Criminal lawyer James Ow Yong of Kalco Law said that under Section 293 of the Penal Code, the sale of such toys to those under 21 is illegal.

When contacted, MimiBox said it started operations around March, but declined further comment.