7 baby leopard tortoises were earlier discovered in a Malaysia-registered lorry at Woodlands Checkpoint on Wednesday (22 July) when officers from the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA) conducted physical check on the vehicle.
In a Facebook post on Thursday, ICA noted that its officers found the tortoises inside a white cardboard box, hidden behind the driver’s seat.
According to the authority, the lorry driver and another male subject are currently assisting NParks with investigations. The tortoises have been taken in by the Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
This method of concealment is a cause for concern as similar methods may be used by people with ill intent to smuggle security items into Singapore, ICA said, noting that it will continue to conduct security checks on passengers, goods and vehicles to safeguard Singapore’s security.
Leopard tortoises are protected under The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Under the Endangered Species (import and Export) Act, the penalty for the importation of scheduled species without a CITES permit is a fine not exceeding $500,000 and/or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years.