SINGAPORE: A 40-year-old man was fined S$3,500 on Wednesday (Jun 20) for the illegal importation of a Greek tortoise into Singapore.
The animal is a protected species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and a permit is required for any import, export and re-export of CITES-listed species in Singapore.
The live tortoise was found in a plastic container that was concealed in the rear left compartment of a Singapore-registered vehicle, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said in a joint media release on Wednesday.
ICA found the tortoise following checks at Woodlands Checkpoint. AVA, who was alerted on Feb 9, said investigations revealed that the man, Ong Yi Chao, did not have a valid permit to import the tortoise.
The tortoise is currently under the care of Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
"The ICA and AVA would like to remind travellers against bringing live animals, birds and insects into Singapore without a proper permit," they said.
Offenders can be fined up to S$50,000 per species and/or jailed up to two years.