In a case involving the illicit sale of electronic cigarettes, an 18-year-old teenager has been sentenced to reformative training, a rehabilitative approach aimed at addressing the offenses committed during his adolescence. The teenager, protected by the Children and Young Persons Act, cannot be named due to his minor status at the time of the offenses.
Illicit E-Cigarette Sales and Rioting Charges
According to Channel NewsAsia, the teenager pleaded guilty to multiple charges related to the sale of e-cigarettes and their components. Additionally, he faced charges for rioting and selling his Singpass account. While undergoing at least a year of detention in a reformative training center, the structured program is designed to guide young offenders towards rehabilitation.
The court heard that the teen’s father, a 39-year-old Singaporean, was involved in the illegal sale of e-cigarettes and related paraphernalia. Both father and son possessed their own sets of e-cigarettes for personal consumption.
Upon learning of the father’s illicit business, the teenager’s friends began purchasing e-cigarettes from him. The teen would draw from his father’s stock of prohibited tobacco items, collect payments from friends, and pass the proceeds to his father, without making any personal profit.
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The teenager actively promoted the illegal products on his Instagram account between May and June 2021. The promotional posts included flavors and giveaways to encourage users to share the content. Health Sciences Authority (HSA) officers received information about this father-and-son duo engaged in the unlawful sale of e-cigarettes, leading to a subsequent operation at their home.
Seizure and Investigation
On August 25, 2021, HSA officers conducted a raid, seizing 187 sets of e-cigarettes, 604 boxes of e-cigarette pods containing 1,812 pieces, and 115 loose pieces of e-cigarette pods. Examination of their phones revealed evidence of peddling activities. The father, aware of his son’s involvement, admitted to obtaining e-cigarette devices and paraphernalia from an individual known as “Cyril,” who also referred customers to him.
The father acknowledged making a profit of about S$200 before their operation. The teenager’s advertisement activities on Instagram were part of the evidence gathered during the investigation.
Separate Incidents and Singpass Account Misuse
Apart from the e-cigarette charges, the teenager admitted to being involved in group fights in July and August 2022. In one incident, a fight erupted after a member from the teenager’s group revealed that he had shared their names with the police under pressure.
Furthermore, the teenager confessed to selling his Singpass account details between September and October 2022. Despite being promised S$4,000, he did not receive any payment. His Singpass account was later misused to create bank accounts, one of which was used to dissipate at least S$8,300 from six scam victims.