Man fined $36,000 for illegally importing meat, seafood, and running unlicensed cold stores

A man was fined $36,000 for illegally operating two unlicensed cold stores and illegally importing meat and seafood products on three occasions.

Teh Kiap Kang is the sole proprietor of Viet-Sin Grocery.

On Apr 26, 2022, officers from the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) found about 1,784kg of meat, processed meat and seafood products in an unlicensed cold store at Gambas Crescent.

On Mar 15, 2023, SFA officers found another cold store that was operating without a licence at Woodlands Close. It stored about 1, 240kg of meat and seafood products.

Viet-Sin Grocery operated both cold stores.

On Nov 1, 2023, SFA officers found about 37kg of assorted meat products in a grocery shop at Woodlands Street 31 operated by Viet-Sin Grocery.

On all three occasions, the products were imported from Vietnam without a valid import licence and were from unaccredited sources.

The products were seized by SFA.

"Illegal storage of meat and seafood at unlicensed facilities pose a food safety risk," SFA said in a statement.

"Under the Sale of Food Act and the Wholesome Meat and Fish Act, cold stores for meat and seafood products can only be operated with a valid licence. 

"SFA routinely inspects these licensed premises to ensure compliance to hygiene standards and correct temperature settings, among other regulatory requirements."

Those caught keeping meat or seafood in unlicensed cold stores for sale or supply could be fined up to $50,000 and jailed for up to two years. Repeat offenders may face fines of up to $100,000 and jail terms of up to three years.

Those caught importing meat products illegally from unapproved sources, or possessing such products for sale without a valid licence, may be fined up to $50,000 and jailed for up to two years for a first offence.

For subsequent offences, the penalty includes a fine of up to $100,000 and a jail term of up to three years.