SINGAPORE - A Singaporean man's attempt to smuggle 40 live birds through the Woodlands Checkpoint last Friday (Dec 21) was foiled after checkpoint officers heard a strange noise coming from the passenger seat of his car.
The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said in a Facebook post on Friday (Dec 28) that the 49-year-old man, who was driving a Singapore-registered car, had been directed for further checks by officers that day.
During the checks, ICA officers noticed an unusual noise from the rear passenger seat, where they found two boxes containing 40 live birds.
The ICA said that the case has been referred to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) for further investigations. The birds are currently being cared for by the AVA.
In its Facebook post, the ICA added that the health status of smuggled animals is not known and these animals may introduce exotic diseases, such as bird flu, to Singapore.
Under the Animals and Birds Act, importing any animals or live birds into Singapore without a licence is illegal.
Offenders face a maximum fine of $10,000, imprisonment of up to a year, or both.
"Our borders are our first line of defence in safeguarding Singapore's security. ICA will continue to conduct security checks to prevent smuggling attempts," the authority said.