35-year-old Ong Fu Yong was fined $12,000 for the possession of illegally imported duck’s blood and dried beef slices and an additional $600 for abetting the illegal import of salted duck eggs from China, which were intended for sale.
The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said in a press release on Wednesday (14 November) that its officer posed as a potential buyer on Ong Fu Yong’s WeChat account. Ong was then nabbed on 2 November 2017 when he delivered the items ordered by the AVA officer.
The AVA officer found 60 kilograms of duck’s blood, 0.5 kilograms of dried beef and 36 pieces of salted duck eggs in his possession. All of the items were illegally imported from China.
The authority said that investigation revealed that Ong had been soliciting travellers to smuggle food and meat products from China since 2016, for sale on WeChat. In return, Ong would offer the travellers a transport fee as payment for their extra baggage allowance. Thereafter, Ong would post his products in his WeChat account for sales.
AVA stated that animal blood food products, such as duck’s blood, are prohibited in Singapore as blood can easily support the growth of bacteria and harbour diseases.
It noted that unhygienic harvesting of blood can also result in the introduction of food borne pathogens into blood food products. Meat, eggs, and their products, can only be imported from accredited sources in approved countries that comply with our food safety standards and requirements.
AVA stressed that illegally imported food products are from unknown sources. Apart from being a food safety risk, they also may pose a risk to our public and animal health.
Any person who illegally imports meat products from unapproved sources is liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and/or 2 years’ jail term or to both for first conviction, and in the case of a second or subsequent conviction, to a fine not exceeding $100,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both.