AVA finds turtles in home of man who was caught with hidden tortoise at checkpoint

Lydia Lam Straits Times 20 Apr 18;

SINGAPORE - The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has found more illegal wildlife in the home of a man who was caught at Woodlands Checkpoint with a leopard tortoise in his vehicle.

The man had been stopped by Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers just after midnight last Friday (April 13).

Officers found a leopard tortoise hidden in an eyewear case in his glove compartment.

That same day, AVA conducted follow-up checks at the man's home and found a tortoise and three turtles, which are not approved pets. The animals found were an African spurred tortoise, a Mekong snail-eating turtle, a razor-backed musk turtle and a snake-necked turtle.

The animals were seized and placed in the care of Wildlife Reserves Singapore, AVA said in a Facebook post on Thursday.

AVA added that the leopard tortoise found in the car, as well as some of the reptiles found in the man's home, are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites).

Keeping wild animals is an offence in Singapore.

If found guilty, offenders can be fined up to $1,000 and have the animals forfeited.

If the species of the wildlife is protected under Cites, offenders found in possession of, or found selling illegally imported animals, can be jailed for up to two years and/or fined up to $500,000.

ICA had also found contraband cigarettes, e-cigarettes and related accessories in the man's car.

He was given a compound fine of $300 by Singapore Customs for the offence of failure to declare cigarettes and referred to AVA and the Health Sciences Authority for further investigations.

ICA officers uncover leopard tortoise, contraband cigarettes, e-cigarettes in car at Woodlands
Charmaine Ng Straits Times 19 Apr 18;

SINGAPORE - A leopard tortoise was discovered hidden in an eyewear case tucked in the glove compartment of a car entering Singapore last Friday (April 13).

Immigration and Checkpoints Authority officers uncovered the reptile at Woodlands Checkpoint at around midnight inside the Singapore-registered car, said ICA in a Facebook post on Thursday.

Duty-unpaid cigarettes as well as e-cigarettes and related accessories were also uncovered from other parts of the car, added ICA.

The driver was compounded $300 by Singapore Customs for failing to declare the cigarettes, ICA said.

He was also referred to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority and the Health Sciences Authority for further investigations.