2 men fined S$11,000 for possession of scorpion, importing leopard geckos

Channel NewsAsia 19 Jul 18;

SINGAPORE: Two men were fined a combined S$11,000 for wildlife-related offences this week, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) announced on Thursday (Jul 19).

In a press release, AVA said that 27-year-old Muhammad Effendi Roslan was fined S$6,000 for the possession of an Indian star tortoise, a scorpion, a red-bellied short-necked turtle and two corn snakes.

AVA had received feedback from the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) in February last year about the alleged sale of illegal wildlife on online marketplace Carousell.

Following an investigation, a raid was carried out at Effendi's home, where the animals were found and seized. The animals were later placed under the care of Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

In the second case, 52-year-old Lawrence Wee Soon Chye was fined S$5,000 for illegally importing five leopard geckos into Singapore.

The live geckos were found in June last year hidden inside two pillows on the rear passenger seat of a Singapore-registered car at Woodlands Checkpoint. They were seized and placed under the care of Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Source: CNA/hs(aj)

2 men fined for wildlife-related offences in separate court cases
Toh Ting Wei Straits Times 19 Jul 18;

SINGAPORE - Two men were fined for wildlife-related offences in separate court cases on Wednesday (July 18), said the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA).

In a statement on Thursday, AVA said Muhammad Effendi Roslan, 27, was fined $6,000 for the possession of an Indian star tortoise, one scorpion, one red-bellied short-necked turtle and two corn snakes.

Meanwhile, Lawrence Wee Soon Chye, 52, was fined $5,000 for illegally importing five leopard geckos into Singapore.

"Animals that are smuggled into Singapore are of unknown health status and may introduce exotic diseases into the country," said the AVA.

Those convicted of keeping and trading illegal wildlife and wildlife parts or products could be fined up to $1,000.

If the wildlife species is protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites), those convicted of being in possession of or found advertising and selling illegally imported Cites protected species will face a fine of up to $500,000 and up to two years' imprisonment.

Those who import animals or birds without a licence can be fined up to $10,000, jailed up to 12 months, or both.

Importation of any Cites-protected species without Cites permits is also an offence. Offenders can be fined up to $500,000 and jailed for up to two years.

Two men fined $4,000 each for smuggling hornbill chick in paper bag across Causeway
Tee Zhuo Straits Times 20 Jul 18;

SINGAPORE - A live black hornbill chick was rescued from two men who had tried to smuggle it in a paper bag across the Causeway into Singapore.

In a joint statement released on Wednesday (July 18), the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority said that the two men were nabbed at Woodlands Checkpoint on May 12.

The black hornbill chick was hidden in a paper bag in the front compartment of a Malaysia-registered motorcycle.

Syed Muhammad Syed Hassan, 29, and Mohammed Ali, 35, were fined $4,000 each for illegally importing the chick, a protected species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites).

The baby bird is now under the care of Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Importing animals and birds without a licence is an offence under the Animals and Birds Act, punishable upon conviction by a jail term of up to 12 months, or a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

Importing species protected under Cites is also illegal, and offenders can be fined up to $50,000 per animal (not exceeding a total of $500,000) or jailed for two years, or both.

In separate court cases on Wednesday, two men were also fined for wildlife-related offences. Muhammad Effendi Roslan, 27, was fined $6,000 for the possession of an Indian star tortoise, one scorpion, one red-bellied short-necked turtle and two corn snakes.

Lawrence Wee Soon Chye, 52, was fined $5,000 for illegally importing five leopard geckos.

In the statement, the authorities said that Singapore's borders are the first line of defence in safeguarding the nation's safety and security.

"Animals that are smuggled into Singapore are of unknown health status and may introduce exotic diseases, such as bird flu, into the country," the authorities said.

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