SINGAPORE: A 30-year-old man was sentenced to eight months' jail for his involvement in a failed attempt to smuggle 121 live birds into Singapore, including Fischer’s Lovebirds, a protected species.
Sudrak Naum was caught on Feb 26 after Immigration & Checkpoints Authority officers found 121 live birds in 10 boxes in a Malaysian-registered tour bus driven by him, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) of Singapore said on Wednesday (Apr 25).
The birds were concealed in a compartment between the driver and front right tyre.
AVA added that the poor conditions the birds were transported under "caused them unnecessary pain and suffering".
Eight birds were found dead on arrival and more have since died.
Sudrak was sentenced to five months' jail for abetting the import of 44 Fischer’s Lovebirds, a species protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), without a permit.
He was also sentenced to another three months' jail for abetting animal cruelty. Another sentence of three month’s jail for abetting the illegal import of 77 live birds will run concurrently.
Investigations revealed that another man travelling with Sudrak had been commissioned to smuggle the birds to an unknown person in Singapore. The man has since fled Singapore.
AVA said that animals smuggled into Singapore may introduce diseases, such as bird flu, into the country.
Anyone found guilty of importing birds and animals without a licence is liable to a fine of up to S$10,000, or imprisonment of up to one year, or both.
In addition, those who are caught importing, exporting or re-exporting CITES species without permits can be fined up to S$50,000 per species (not exceeding a maximum aggregate of S$500,000) and/or face imprisonment of up to two years upon conviction.
Anyone who causes unnecessary pain or suffering to an animal will be liable upon conviction to a fine of up to S$15,000, or imprisonment of up to 18 months, or both.