Men caught for smuggling birds in toothpaste boxes

Men caught for smuggling birds in toothpaste boxes

SINGAPORE - Four men were caught while attempting to smuggle live Oriental White-eye birds, also known as mata putehs, across the Tuas Second Link into Singapore.

On September 17 2013 at about 8.40pm, a Singapore-registered car was stopped for routine checks upon arrival at Tuas Checkpoint. The car was driven by a male Singaporean, accompanied by three other men, all Singaporeans.

During the course of inspection, Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers noticed that three toothpaste boxes inside the centre arm rest console of the car were moving, and they heard flapping sounds.

After a check, ICA officers found another three similar toothpaste boxes, two of them inside a passenger’s waist pouch and the remaining one in a sling bag. A mata puteh was found in each of the 6 boxes. The men and seized exhibits were referred to AVA for further investigations.

The ICA and AVA remind travellers against bringing live animals, birds and insects into Singapore without a proper permit. The importation of any animals or live birds without an AVA permit is a violation of the Animals and Birds Act, which carries a maximum penalty of $10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.

candicec@sph.com.sg

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