Company fined $5,000 for illegally importing 378kg of fresh fruits and vegetables

CK Fresh Pte Ltd was fined $5,000 on Wednesday (Aug 24) for illegally importing fresh fruits and vegetables for sale.

Its director, Chai Chwee Yoke, was also fined $5,000 for failing to prevent the offence from being committed.

On November 17, 2021, a truck carrying food produce consigned to CK Fresh Pte Ltd was detained during a joint operation conducted by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) and Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) at the Woodlands Checkpoint.

The truck was then referred to SFA for follow-up inspection.

SFA’s investigations found that the company illegally imported approximately 378kg of undeclared and under-declared fresh fruits and vegetables in the consignments imported from Malaysia.

All the illegal consignments were seized.

In Singapore, food imports must meet SFA’s requirements.

Fruits and vegetables can only be imported by licensed importers, and every consignment must be declared and accompanied with a valid import permit.

"Illegally imported vegetables are of unknown sources and can pose a food safety risk (e.g. if unregulated or high level of pesticides are used)," said SFA in a joint statement with ICA.

"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 shall be liable on conviction to a maximum fine of $10,000 and/or up to three years in jail.

ICA said that safeguarding Singapore’s borders remains its top priority.

The joint statement added: "ICA will continue to conduct security checks to detect and deter illegal importation attempts so as to keep Singapore safe.

"SFA will continue to safeguard food safety through our integrate food safety system, which includes strict import regulations and enforcement, and work closely with border control agencies to deter illegal import across our borders."

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