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According to the Straits Times, the retired local actor Mikhail Abdul Razak of Singapore was punished for using his Instagram account to sell vape pens.
In December 2019, an official of the Health Science Administration (HSA) discovered his illegal activities while conducting online monitoring on vape dealers.
About a week later, Mikhail proposed to sell a variety of vape products to HSA undercover officials.
On Thursday, the 44-year-old man, more widely known as Nick Mikhail, was fined $13000 after pleading guilty to one charge of advertising illegal products and six charges of selling or proposing to sell these products. In his judgement, a total of 25 other similar charges were considered.
According to Caleb Looi, the prosecutor of HSA, Mikhail published an advertisement related to vapes on his Instagram account in October 2019.
The prosecutor said: through advertising, Instagram users can start talking with the defendant to buy vape pens or their ingredients.
On different occasions in that year, he sold or proposed to sell vapes to different Instagram users.
For example, on December 20, 2019, he sold two vape pens to an Instagram user – one for $66 and the other for $80.
On the same day, after he handed over other vape pens to an undercover HSA official, the official identified himself. Subsequently, the car and home of Mikhail were searched, and vape pens and related appliances were found and confiscated.
Mikhail admitted that he had made some successful transactions and made about 2500 to 3000 dollars.
Mikhail, who appeared in Suria, a Malay television channel, told the court that he committed these crimes in 2019 when he was desperate, and now he has become a person.
After the court allowed him to pay the remaining amount in installments, he paid a fine of $6500 on Thursday.
For vape products, he may be sentenced to imprisonment for up to six months, a fine of up to $10000, or both.
He could have been punished the same for every crime of selling or offering to sell illegal products.
Mikhail, who is now a loan broker, reiterated his regret in his speech to the Straits Times outside the court and said: “I have some shares in the stores in Kuala Lumpur, so I can get all these items there.”. So it has become a temptation… I can only say that I did wrong.
When the Covid-19 pandemic was at its worst, he posted a video on Instagram complaining about the behavior of three law enforcement officers and three police officers of the Urban Renewal Bureau who carried out the Covid-19 law enforcement inspection and inspected his family in July, so he was on the news on 31, 2021.
According to the latest statistics of HSA, 4916 people were arrested for using and holding vape in 2022, compared with 4697 and 1266 in 2021 and 2020 respectively.