Malaysian caught smuggling live bird in potato chip tube

A live bird (top) was found inside a potato chip tube (above) that was hidden in the glove compartment of a Malaysian-registered car.
A live bird (above) was found inside a potato chip tube that was hidden in the glove compartment of a Malaysian-registered car.PHOTOS: ICA/FACEBOOK
A live bird (top) was found inside a potato chip tube (above) that was hidden in the glove compartment of a Malaysian-registered car.
A live bird was found inside a potato chip tube (above) that was hidden in the glove compartment of a Malaysian-registered car.PHOTOS: ICA/FACEBOOK

A 23-year-old Malaysian man was caught smuggling a live bird inside a potato chip tube via the Woodlands Checkpoint on Sunday.

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said in a Facebook post on Wednesday that officers found the tube - which was labelled as seaweed flavoured potato chips - hidden in the glove compartment of a Malaysian-registered car.

The case has been referred to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) for further investigations, with the bird currently under its care, ICA said.

In its post, ICA said the health status of smuggled animals is unknown and that importing them into Singapore without a licence could introduce exotic diseases, such as avian influenza, to the country.

On its Facebook page, AVA reminded travellers not to bring live creatures into Singapore without a proper permit. The public can go to AVA's website at www.ava.gov.sg or download its mobile app SG TravelKaki for more information.

"Our borders are our first line of defence in safeguarding Singapore's security," ICA said. It added that it will continue to conduct security checks on passengers and vehicles at checkpoints to prevent attempts to smuggle in undesirable people, drugs, weapons, explosives and other contraband items. Anyone convicted of smuggling animals or live birds into Singapore may be jailed for a year, fined up to $10,000 or both.

Ng Huiwen

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 01, 2018, with the headline 'Malaysian caught smuggling live bird in potato chip tube'. Print Edition | Subscribe