Almost 30,000 vape products found smuggled in lorry entering Singapore at Tuas Checkpoint

David Sun
The Straits Times
December 22, 2022

Almost 30,000 vape products were seized at the Tuas Checkpoint after they were found being smuggled in with a consignment of frozen chicken nuggets.

They were discovered when officers from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) stopped a Malaysian-registered lorry entering Singapore at around 3am on Nov 17.

While searching the truck, officers found boxes wrapped in black trash bags in the driver’s resting area and under the lorry’s floorboards.

The boxes were found to contain a total of 2,600 disposable e-vaporisers and 27,006 refill pods. The items were later seized by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA).

A video of the seizure at the checkpoint, which was posted on ICA’s Facebook page on Thursday with the title “Winner winner chicken dinner”, shows officers cutting open the boxes and lining up the vape products to count them.

HSA has seized more e-vaporisers in recent years, with official figures showing a rise from 1,565 vape products in 2017 to 7,593 in 2021.

The largest haul recorded here involved almost 60,000 vape products. They were seized in an operation in October 2021.

The Straits Times previously reported that vape shops in Johor Bahru proved popular with visitors from Singapore, following the reopening of land borders in April 2022.

The authorities here have repeatedly warned that those caught using, buying or possessing such products in Singapore are liable to a fine of $2,000.

Harsher penalties are meted out to those who sell, possess for sale, import or distribute such items.

Those convicted can be fined up to $10,000 and jailed for up to six months, with the maximum sentence doubled for repeat offenders.

Those with information on the illegal import, distribution, sale or offer for sale of e-vaporisers can submit a report to HSA online.

They can also contact HSA’s Tobacco Regulation Branch on 6684-2036 or 6684-2037 from 9am to 5.30pm on weekdays.

Nov 2022 case files: Almost 30k e-vaporiser products seized

On 17 Nov at 3am, ICA officers at Tuas Checkpoint foiled an attempt to smuggle almost 30k e-vaporiser products into Singapore. A Malaysia-registered lorry carrying a consignment of frozen chicken nuggets was detected with 2,600 e-vaporisers and 27,006 e-vaporiser refill pods concealed in various parts of the lorry cabin. All exhibits were seized by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) and investigations are ongoing. As guardians of our borders, ICA is committed to facilitating trade & travel while keeping Singapore’s borders safe and secure. #GuardiansOfOurBorders #SecureBordersSafeSG

Posted by Immigration & Checkpoints Authority on Thursday, December 22, 2022