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The puppies were found hidden in a modified speaker box inside the car boot (Source : ICA).

Man sentenced for 6 months imprisonment for smuggling puppies

Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) announced on 24 August via a press release that a 34-year-old man has been sentenced to 6 months imprisonment for illegally importing 3 puppies, a husky, a schnauzer and a chow chow, into Singapore and 3 months imprisonment for subjecting the puppies to unnecessary suffering or pain.

The Singaporean man, Loh Chee Chiang, was going to Singapore through Woodland Checkpoints when the ICA officer stopped him for further inspection on Sunday (22 August) at about 12.55 am.

The officers found three live puppies hidden inside a modified speaker box in a Singapore-registered car. The man, along with the puppies, were referred to the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) for further investigation.

The three puppies that were found in the car (Source : ICA).
The three puppies that were found in the car (Source : ICA).

The three puppies were put under a quarantine for 100 days at AVA's Sembawang Animal Quarantine Station to be observed for signs of infectious or contagious diseases during the investigation. Animals that are smuggled into Singapore are of unknown health status and may introduce exotic diseases, such as rabies, into the country

Fortunately, the three puppies, a husky, a schnauzer and a chow chow, have successfully completed quarantine. ICA is working with Society for the Prevention of the Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) to rehome them.

Puppies undergoing health checks at AVA’s Sembawang Animal Quarantine Station (Source : AVA).
Puppies undergoing health checks at AVA’s Sembawang Animal Quarantine Station (Source : AVA).

There have been several cases of smuggling live animals across the checkpoint in recent months, which were stopped by the ICA.

One man was arrested on 23 June for smuggling 22 star-tortoise at about 1pm in a Singapore-registered car driven by a 49-year-old male Singaporean. The tortoise was kept in a bag, placed amongst other bags of groceries in the car boot. The man and the animals were handed over to AVA for further investigations. During that time, the star tortoises are under the care of the Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

On 19 May 2016, at about 11.15pm, a Malaysia-registered car, driven by 42-year-old Muhammad Adam Yap Bin Abdullah, was directed for further checks. ICA officers found six live puppies (four poodles and two shih tzus) hidden in a modified compartment underneath the rear passenger seat of the car. The man was sentenced to six months imprisonment for importing six puppies without relevant import permits, and three months jail for causing pain and suffer to the puppies.

Another discovery of the smuggling occurred on 4 March when a Singaporean man was found to have tried to smuggle three Red-whiskered Bulbul live birds from Malaysia kept inside a green coloured haversack underneath the front passenger’s seat of a Malaysia registered private taxi. 47-year-old Jalal Bin Basiron Samad was sentenced to three months imprisonment for illegally importing the birds and three months in jail for subjecting them to pain or suffering.

ICA and AVA advise travellers against bringing live animals, birds and insects into Singapore without a proper permit. The public can refer to AVA’s website or download AVA’s mobile app, SG TravelKak for more information on bringing back animals from overseas.