Singapore

Man caught trying to smuggle 12 puppies – three of which died – into Singapore

He hid sedated dogs, three of which died, in boot of car while trying to enter Singapore

A Singaporean man's attempt to smuggle 12 sedated puppies inside the boot of his car led to three of them dying.

The 25-year-old, who was driving a Singapore-registered vehicle, was stopped for car boot checks when he arrived at the Tuas Checkpoint from Malaysia at about 3.45am on Monday.

During the inspection, an Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officer noticed something amiss with the car boot and conducted further checks, said the ICA and Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) in a joint statement yesterday.

After removing the spare tyre and the cover of the spare tyre compartment, the officer found the sedated puppies crammed into the compartment.

Three of them subsequently died.

The driver did not have valid health certificates and import permits and he was referred to AVA for investigation.

The surviving puppies are being cared for and quarantined at AVA's facilities.

UNKNOWN HEALTH STATUSES

Animals smuggled into Singapore have unknown health statuses and may introduce exotic diseases, such as rabies, into the country, the authorities said.

AVA strictly regulates the import of animals to prevent the introduction of such diseases into the country and to safeguard the health and welfare of animals here.

"Our borders are our first line of defence in safeguarding Singapore's security. The security checks are critical to our nation's security," said ICA and AVA.

"The ICA will continue to conduct security checks on passengers and vehicles at the checkpoints to prevent attempts to smuggle in undesirable persons, drugs, weapons, explosives and other contraband."

The ICA and AVA reminded travellers against bringing live animals, birds and insects into Singapore without a proper permit.

Anyone convicted of importing animals without an AVA permit can be fined up $10,000, jailed for up to a year, or both.

The public can refer to AVA's website or download AVA's mobile app, SG TravelKaki (free on iTunes and the Google Play store), for more information on bringing in animals from overseas.

COURT & CRIME