TWO Vietnamese nationals were each jailed 16 months on Wednesday for having $65,000 worth of ivory without valid permits, while in transit at Changi Airport.
Hoang Xuan Quang, 43, a sales person, and To Manh Dung, 30, a cook, pleaded guilty to possessing 16 ivory bangles, 13 ivory husks and 109 ivory cubes without permits issued by Angola and Laos on Tuesday last week. The items weighed a total of 45.7kg.
Under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, items listed on the Endangered Species Act can be traded only with export and import permits. Singapore is a party to this convention.
The court heard that Hoang, a frequent traveller to Angola, was working at a local market in Luanda.
About two weeks ago, he asked To, who was working as a cook in Angola, if he was keen to earn extra money.
He said they could earn US$1,000 for each luggage bag that was successfully delivered from Luanda to Laos. To agreed.
Hoang had been earlier contacted by an unknown Vietnamese, who made the arrangements for Hoang and To to travel to Laos on Emirates Airlines, with transits in Dubai and Singapore.
The unidentified man also handed them two luggage bags and said someone would approach them at Laos' Vientiane airport to collect the bags.
The duo left Angola on Monday last week.
They were in transit in Dubai and arrived in Singapore a day later. They remained in the transit lounge area and were waiting for their connecting flight to Laos when they were arrested.
They could each have been fined up to $50,000 for each scheduled species, subject to the the maximum $500,000, or jailed for up to two years, or both.