Courier fined for smuggling puppies into Singapore from JB to earn money

Getty Images: Photo of a Husky puppy

SINGAPORE — A man who hid puppies in a car to bring them illegally from Johor Bahru to Singapore was fined the maximum $10,000 on Thursday (23 May).

Poh Wen Chye, a 36-year-old Singaporean, was caught after Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers found a Husky puppy under boxes of ceiling fans in his car.

The handyman pleaded guilty in the State Courts to one charge of importing the puppy without a license. One similar charge involving a Pomeranian dog was taken into consideration for sentencing.

Prior to his arrest, Poh’s name had been placed on a watchlist after the then-Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) was alerted to a Facebook post of a pet owner who had bought a Pomeranian from a pet shop in Johor Bahru.

The pet owner had bought the dog from Super Pets on 16 January for RM9,360 (S$3080.46). The price included pet grooming items, accessories, importation and delivery fees to Singapore. Poh successfully delivered the dog to the pet owner.

On 18 January, the dog became sick and was rushed to two vet clinics for treatment. It died the next day. Poh’s information was retrieved and he was placed under the ICA watchlist for suspected smuggling activities.

On 26 February, Poh was returning to Singapore through Woodlands Checkpoint from Johor Bahru when an ICA officer checked his car.

According to his lawyer, Amarjit Singh, the Husky puppy was discovered after Poh removed the boxes containing the ceiling fans. The puppy was placed in a black canvas bag under the rear passenger seat.

AVA was alerted and its officers placed Poh under arrest.

Poh alleged that he had bought the puppy for his daughter’s birthday. Further investigations revealed that Poh couriered goods including dogs from Malaysia to Singapore to earn money and he later admitted to doing so.

Singh sought an $8,000 fine for his client. Poh was remorseful for his actions, said the lawyer from Amarjit Sidhu Law.

For importing a dog without a license, Poh could have been jailed up to a year and/or fined $10,000.

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