SINGAPORE: A company has been fined S$20,000 for illegally importing assorted food products from Indonesia, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) and Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said on Wednesday (Oct 27).
The director of Reliable Transport & Logistic Services, Hardinizam Khairuddin Muhammad, was also fined S$15,000 for failing to exercise due diligence to prevent the offence from being committed.
Consignments of “unknown meat products” imported by the company were detected by ICA officers at Changi Airfreight Centre on Oct 21. They did not have a valid import permit.
SFA found that the company had illegally imported about 735kg of meat and seafood products, 10kg of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as 503kg of processed food products from Indonesia.
The illegal consignments were seized.
The authorities said food imports in Singapore must meet SFA’s requirements. Food can only be imported by licensed importers, and every consignment must be declared and accompanied with a valid import permit.
“Illegally imported food products are of unknown sources and can pose a food safety risk. In addition, meat and meat products can only be imported from accredited sources in approved countries that comply with Singapore’s food safety standards and requirements,” they added.
Those found guilty of importing meat products illegally from unapproved sources face a fine of up to S$50,000, up to two years’ jail, or both.
Those who illegally import fresh fruits and vegetables without a permit can be fined up to S$10,000, jailed up to three years, or both.
The offence of illegally importing processed food carries a fine of up to S$1,000.
ICA said it will continue to conduct security checks to detect and deter smuggling attempts, as similar concealment methods may also be used by terrorists to smuggle security items into the country.
SFA added that it will also continue to work closely with border control agencies to deter illegal import across Singapore’s borders.