Five live leopard geckos were found hidden inside two pillows in the rear passenger seat of a car at Woodlands Checkpoint.
The Singapore-registered car was driven by a man, 51, who was accompanied by a woman, 32. They are both Singaporeans.
Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers found the geckos at about 3.55pm last Friday, said a joint statement by ICA and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) yesterday.
The case has been referred to AVA and investigations are ongoing.
It is illegal either to import animals or live birds into Singapore without an AVA permit or to keep wild animals as pets. They are not suitable as pets because some might introduce diseases and may become public safety risks if they escape or are mishandled.
Non-native animals might also threaten our local biodiversity if they are released into the environment, said the statement.
The maximum penalty for animal smuggling is a $10,000 fine and/or jail of up to a year.
The public can refer to AVA's website or download its mobile app, SG TravelKaki (available free from the Google Play Store and iTunes), for more information on bringing animals into Singapore.