SINGAPORE - Five live leopard geckos were found hidden in a car driven by a 51-year-old Singaporean man at Woodlands Checkpoint on Friday (June 2).
Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers directed the Singapore-registered car for further checks at 3.55pm, ICA and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said in a joint statement on Tuesday (June 6).
An ICA officer found the leopard geckos hidden inside two pillows on the rear passenger seat.
The man was accompanied by a 32-year-old Singaporean woman.
The case has been referred to AVA and investigations are ongoing.
It is illegal to keep wild animals such as exotic amphibians, snakes and lizards in Singapore.
Those caught for importing animals or live birds without an AVA permit can be jailed up to one year and/or fined up to $10,000.
"Wild animals are not suitable pets as some may transmit zoonotic diseases to humans and can be a public safety risk if mishandled, or if they escape into our dense urban environment," said AVA.
Wild animals that are not native to Singapore can be a threat to the local biodiversity if released.
Demand for such animals also fuels illegal wildlife trade, which severely impacts the wild populations of many species.
ICA and AVA reminded travellers not to bring live animals, birds and insects into Singapore without a proper permit.
For more information on bringing back animals from overseas travels, refer to AVA's website or AVA's free mobile app SG TravelKaki.