Sunday, May 24, 2015Sunday, May 24, 2015

Man fined $41,000 for having 32 wild and endangered animals in Toa Payoh flat

Published on Feb 6, 2014 12:41 PM
More than 30 wild or endangered animals, including a slow loris (above), were rescued from a flat in Singapore in the biggest seizure of illegal wildlife from a home in 11 years. -- FILE PHOTO: AVA  

It was the biggest seizure of illegal wildlife from a home in 11 years and naturally the offender received one of the biggest fines ever meted out for such offences. Ong Ming Shiang, 33, was fined a total of $41,000 on Thursday after pleading guilty to contravening the Endangered Species (Import & Export) Act and the Wild Animals and Birds Act.

Acting on a tip-off, officers of the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority inspected a Housing Board flat in Toa Payoh North on June 3 last year. Among the 32 wildlife and endangered animals seized were three rare ball pythons, two Indian star tortoises, a slow loris, three black-tailed prairie dogs, two sailfin dragons and five ornate horned frogs.

AVA records revealed that the animals were not indigenous and had been brought in without permits. Investigations then revealed some of the animals were given to Ong while others were bought by him. However, no further details were told to the court.

AVA's prosecuting officer, Mr Yap Teck Chuan, also said that there was no evidence linking Ong to any wildlife smuggling syndicate but asked for a heavy fine as there was evidence to show that the animals were for sale.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!