Thai fined $10k for illegally bringing in dried frogs

Kanokporn Junsricha was fined $5,000 in August for importing assorted meat products without a licence.
Kanokporn Junsricha was fined $5,000 in August for importing assorted meat products without a licence.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

In August, a Thai woman was fined $5,000 after importing 67kg of assorted meat products into Singapore without a licence.

But Kanokporn Junsricha, 39, did not learn her lesson and committed a similar offence about four months later when she illegally brought 10kg of dried frogs into the country .

She was fined $10,000 yesterday after admitting to the offence committed on Dec 9.

The Straits Times understands that this is the first time an offender was dealt with in court for importing dried frogs.

Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) prosecutor Yap Teck Chuan said immigration officers on duty at the Arrival Cargo Clearance Centre of the Woodlands Checkpoint at around 8am that day stopped a Thailand-registered pickup.

Two Thai men, including the driver, were inside the vehicle.

During a check, officers found the dried frogs hidden among other food products and the matter was referred to the AVA.

Mr Yap said: "The importation of dried frogs from Thailand is prohibited.

"There is a risk that such illegal import of dried frogs may inadvertently carry the salmonella bacteria, which could cause serious food poisoning to consumers."

Salmonella can cause diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.

Kanokporn, who was unrepresented, pleaded for leniency in court yesterday.

She told District Judge Kan Shuk Weng: "I need to come to Singapore to carry out business to support my family. I will get a licence from AVA in the future."

Court documents did not mention what happened to the Thai men.

Repeat offenders caught importing meat products without a licence can be jailed for up to three years and fined up to $100,000.

Shaffiq Alkhatib

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 21, 2017, with the headline 'Thai fined $10k for illegally bringing in dried frogs'. Print Edition | Subscribe