A 43-year-old Malaysian is under investigation after he was caught attempting to smuggle 11 puppies into Singapore through the Woodlands Checkpoint on Thursday (23 March), the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said.
After his Malaysia-registered car was directed for further checks upon arrival, ICA officers found the puppies hidden in the vehicle’s modified fuel tank, the ICA added in a statement on Friday.
The driver, the puppies and the car were handed over to the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA). Investigations are ongoing.
In response to Yahoo Singapore‘s queries, an AVA spokesman said, “The puppies are being cared for and quarantined at AVA’s facilities. They are being observed for signs of infectious or contagious diseases, especially rabies – a disease which is fatal to animals and humans. After the quarantine period, we will work with our rehoming partners to rehome the puppies.”
Animals that are smuggled into Singapore are of unknown health status and may introduce exotic diseases, such as rabies, into the country, the ICA said. The importation of any animals or live birds without an AVA permit is illegal. Any person convicted of such an offence faces a fine of up to $10,000 and/or jail of up to one year.
Members of the public can refer to AVA’s website or download AVA’s mobile app, SG TravelKaki, for more information on bringing back animals from overseas travels.