SINGAPORE – Five Malaysian men will be spending weeks in jail for bringing 53,249 sachets of chewing tobacco into Singapore on Sept 7.
The sachets of chewing tobacco worth around $213,000 were uncovered in black polythene bags hidden in the bed bunks and engine compartments of Malaysia-registered bowser lorries by Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers at Tuas Checkpoint.
The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said on Tuesday (Sept 22) that all five men had been instructed to go to designated carparks in Singapore to hand over the chewing tobacco to a contact person.
The Malaysian men, aged between 37 and 51, were sentenced to jail terms ranging from five to 16 weeks.
According to the HSA, the type of chewing tobacco the Malaysians brought in is known as Khaini tobacco – a composite of moist, dark brown tobacco leaf, mixed with slaked lime or spices.
The HSA reminded the public that the import, distribution, sale or offer for sale of emerging tobacco products are prohibited under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act.
Such products include shisha tobacco, smokeless tobacco, and chewing tobacco such as Gutkha, Khaini, Zarda, vaporisers and their constituents.
First-time offenders can be fined up to $10,000 and jailed for up to six months. For each count of the offence, repeat offenders can be fined up to $20,000 and jailed up to 12 months.