40 live birds found in car at Woodlands Checkpoint

During checks on a Singapore-registered car driven by a 49-year-old man, ICA officers found two boxes containing 40 live birds. The case has been referred to the AVA for further investigations.
During checks on a Singapore-registered car driven by a 49-year-old man, ICA officers found two boxes containing 40 live birds. The case has been referred to the AVA for further investigations.PHOTO: AGRI-FOOD AND VETERINARY AUTHORITY

A Singaporean man's attempt to smuggle 40 live birds through Woodlands Checkpoint was foiled after officers heard a strange noise coming from the passenger seat of his car.

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said in a Facebook post yesterday that the 49-year-old, who was driving a Singapore-registered car, had been directed for further checks by officers on Dec 21.

During the checks, ICA officers noticed an unusual noise from the rear passenger seat, where they found two boxes containing 40 live birds.

The ICA said the case has been referred to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) for further investigations. The birds are currently being cared for by the AVA.

In its Facebook post, the ICA said the health status of the smuggled animals is not known, and that these animals may introduce exotic diseases, such as bird flu, to Singapore.

Under the Animals and Birds Act, importing any animals or live birds into Singapore without a licence is illegal. Offenders face a maximum fine of $10,000, imprisonment of up to a year, or both.

"Our borders are our first line of defence in safeguarding Singapore's security. ICA will continue to conduct security checks to prevent smuggling attempts," the authority said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 29, 2018, with the headline '40 live birds found in car at Woodlands Checkpoint'. Print Edition | Subscribe