SINGAPORE - A Malaysian man was sentenced to 30 weeks' jail on Wednesday (June 7) for smuggling 11 puppies into Singapore.
Ravichandran Muthusamy, 43, was also jailed 20 weeks for animal cruelty. The sentences for smuggling and animal cruelty will run concurrently.
Ravichandran was driving a Malaysia-registered car at Woodlands Checkpoint on March 23 at about 9pm, when he was directed for further checks by Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers. During the check, officers found 11 puppies hidden in a modified fuel tank.
The court heard that he was commissioned to smuggle the puppies to an unknown person in Singapore, according to investigations by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA). He was instructed to drive into Singapore with the hidden puppies.
The modified compartment of the car had no food or water and had limited space for the puppies to move.
The 11 of them are now quarantined and being cared for at AVA's facilities.
In a joint statement, AVA and ICA said it is illegal to import animals or live birds into Singapore without an AVA permit. Animals smuggled into the country may introduce exotic diseases.
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.