SINGAPORE: A part-time administrator decided to give “fat-melting” injections to earn more income, advertising her services online even though she was not a registered medical practitioner.
Cheryl Ng Mui Hong, 43, obtained the injection serum without ascertaining if it was registered or could be used in Singapore, and bought injection needles online without determining if they were properly sterilised.
She was fined S$10,000 on Wednesday (Jun 22) after pleading guilty to five counts of committing rash acts that endangered the personal safety of five women whom she injected.
Another six similar charges were considered for sentencing.
The court heard that in March 2020, Ng started offering “fat-melting” injections and other aesthetic services under the Instagram handle ZQ.aesthetic.
Ng claimed that while learning about massage in Malaysia in 2019, she attended a five-day course where she learned about such injections. The certification she claimed to have not recognised in Singapore.
“She did not have the requisite license and experience to conduct acts related to medical procedure, including administering injections,” stated court documents.
Ng bought the serum and needles from a Malaysian supplier. She planned to receive customers at home or travel to their residences, but also rented a room at a salon in Toa Payoh Central.
As she knew the services she planned to offer were illegal, she told the landlord that she was only giving facial massages and treatment.
Court documents stated that Ng’s “fat-melting” injections had a moderate likelihood of bruising and scarring, and “if these risks materialised and were not properly dealt with at the time, this could lead to discomfort and haemorrhage”.
The injection solution Ng used also carried a risk of allergic reaction.
“She intended to stop providing the fat-melting injections by August 2020 as she was afraid that something might go wrong,” stated court documents.
Ng had at least seven customers from March 2020 until investigations against her started on Jul 8, 2020. Five of the customers, aged 27 to 33, contacted Ng after seeing her advertisements for slimming procedures on Instagram.
Ng would administer injections containing a red solution on the women, including on their abdomen, thighs, upper arms and jaw area. She would usually first apply a cream, believed to be a numbing cream, on these areas.
One woman agreed to pay S$548 for injections on three areas of her abdomen, while another agreed to pay S$180 for the injection to be administered on her face.
Ng was aware that her act of injection and the solution she used carried risk of injury to the customers, stated court documents.
She was also aware that the procedure risked her customers’ personal safety as she did not have valid medical experience and the safety of the products she used had not been verified.
Investigations against Ng started after an anonymous complaint about the “fat-melting” services offered on her Instagram account.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Marcus Foo sought a S$12,000 fine, highlighting that Ng was not medically trained, was motivated by financial gain and did not stop her business operations until she was caught, even though she knew her actions were wrong.
The prosecution also considered that Ng, who was defended by lawyer Andrew Chua, made restitution to her customers and there was no evidence that they suffered injuries.
The punishment for committing a rash act that endangers the personal safety of others is jail for up to six months, a fine of up to S$2,500 or both.