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Man fined record amount for illegal wildlife possession

A man was fined S$41,000 on Thursday for the possession of illegal wildlife. It was the highest penalty that was imposed on an individual for the offence, said the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore.

SINGAPORE: A man was fined S$41,000 on Thursday for the possession of illegal wildlife.

The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) of Singapore said in a statement that the fine was the highest penalty that had been imposed on an individual for the offence.

Acting on a public tip off, AVA inspected an HDB flat on 3 June 2013, and seized 32 wild animals from the unit.

AVA's investigations showed that all the animals had been imported into Singapore without the relevant import permits.

Furthermore, of the 32 animals, 19 were classified as endangered species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which would require additional CITES import permits from AVA on top of the import permit.

A permit is required for the import and export or re-export of animals to and from Singapore.

As Singapore is a CITES signatory, it is an offence to possess or to trade in any illegally imported or acquired CITES species.

Those found guilty of the offence face a fine of up to S$50,000 per specimen, not exceeding an aggregate of S$500,000.

A jail term of up to two years may also apply. 

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