Wholesaler illegally imported 324kg of fruits and vegetables, 11kg of processed food

A wholesaler and its director were fined a total of $13,000 on Wednesday (Feb 15) for the illegal import of food from Malaysia.

Greenyard Food Industries Pte Ltd was fined $7,500 while its director, Fang Kai Bung, was also fined $5,500 for failing to prevent the offence from being committed.

The offence came to light after a truck carrying food produce consigned to Greenyard Food Industries Pte Ltd was stopped and referred for checks during a joint operation conducted by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) at Woodlands Checkpoint.

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

SFA's investigation found that the company had illegally imported approximately 324kg of undeclared and under-declared fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as about 11kg of undeclared processed food from Malaysia.

All the illegal consignments were seized.

"In Singapore, food imports must meet SFA's requirements," reminded the authorities in a media release.

"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).

"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 are liable on conviction to a maximum fine of $10,000 and/or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years. Offenders who illegally import processed fruits and vegetables shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000 and in the case of a subsequent conviction, to a fine not exceeding $2,000.