Some 4,500 sachets of chewing tobacco and 121 live birds were confiscated from a Malaysian-registered tour bus by immigration officials at Woodlands Checkpoint on Monday morning (26 February).
The live birds and bus were handed over to the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) for investigations. The bus driver, a 30-year-old man, was charged in court on Wednesday.
Three black bundles in red plastic bags, which contained the sachets of chewing tobacco, were discovered at the luggage compartment of the bus following checks by Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers.
The import and sale of chewing tobacco is prohibited in Singapore under the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act. Any person convicted of importing chewing tobacco faces a fine of up to $10,000 and/or up to 6 months in jail for the first offence.
4,500 sachets of chewing tobacco were seized at Woodlands Checkpoint. PHOTO: ICA
The live birds consisted of Fischer’s Lovebirds, Red Whiskered Bulbuls, White Rumped Shamas and Spotted Doves and were found in 10 boxes, which were concealed in another compartment of the bus. The Fischer’s Lovebird is a protected species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
CITES permits are required for any import, export and re-export of CITES species, including their parts and products. Under the Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act, offenders can be fined up to $50,000 per scheduled species and/or imprisonment of up to two years upon conviction.
In addition, the import of animals and birds without a licence is an offence under the Animals and Birds Act. Offenders are liable to a fine of up to $10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 12 months.
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