Thai woman fined $10,000 for illegally importing dried frogs into Singapore

Kanokporn Junsricha had been fined $5,000 in August for a similar offence.
Kanokporn Junsricha had been fined $5,000 in August for a similar offence.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - In August, a Thai woman was fined $5,000 after importing into Singapore 67kg of assorted meat products 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 into the country 10kg of dried frogs.

She was fined $10,000 on Wednesday (Dec 20) after admitting to the offence committed on Dec 9.

The Straits Times understands that this was 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 that immigration officers were on duty at the Arrival Cargo Clearance Centre of the Woodlands Checkpoint at around 8am that day when they stopped a Thailand-registered pickup truck.

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.


PHOTO: 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."

The salmonella bacteria can cause diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.

 
 
 

Junsricha, who was unrepresented, pleaded for leniency in court on Wednesday.

She told District Judge Kan Shuk Weng: "I need to come to Singapore to carry out a 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.