A lorry driver who smuggled in 43 live puppies in two sealed carton boxes was jailed for six months last Friday.
Malaysian Abdul Aziz Kassen, 45, pleaded guilty on Thursday to importing the puppies without a licence at the Woodlands Checkpoint on March 6. He also admitted to a second charge of cruelty to animals.
The dogs were hungry and thirsty when found. One of them, a pomeranian, later died.
The court heard that Abdul Aziz, who was short of money, had decided to transport the puppies from Johor to Singapore for a man called Ah Chai, who agreed to pay him RM800 (S$309).
In the early hours of March 6, he picked up two sealed carton boxes containing the puppies from Ah Chai, who told him to stop on Woodlands Road, where someone would take the dogs from him.
Immigration and Checkpoint Authority officers found the sedated puppies packed in the boxes with little space to move.
Plastic bottles containing ice had been put on the wire mesh on the top and sides of the boxes. Ice can cause burns if it is in contact with an animal's skin over time.
"Sedation also leads to a natural drop in body temperature, especially in young animals. The condition of the puppies would have been made worse by the ice as the puppies could have had hypothermia as well," said Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority prosecutor Yap Teck Chuan.
The maximum penalty for each offence is a $10,000 fine and 12 months in jail.
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