SINGAPORE: A Singaporean man is under investigation after authorities at Tuas Checkpoint caught him trying to enter Singapore with puppies hidden in the spare tyre compartment of his car.
The 25-year-old was stopped for a car boot check when he arrived at Tuas Checkpoint at about 3.45am on Tuesday (Dec 11), said the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) in a joint news release on Thursday.
During the inspection, an ICA officer noticed "anomalies" in the car boot and conducted further checks, said the two authorities.
"Upon removing the spare tyre and the cover of the spare tyre compartment, the officer found 12 sedated puppies cramped in the compartment," they said.
Some of the puppies were weak, and three eventually died.
"As the driver did not possess valid health certificate and import permits, he was referred to the AVA for investigation," they added.
The surviving puppies are currently under quarantine at AVA's facilities.
Anyone who imports animals without an AVA permit could be fined up to S$10,000 and jailed for up to a year.
"Animals that are smuggled into Singapore are of unknown health status and may introduce exotic diseases such as rabies into the country," said the news release. "As such, AVA strictly regulates the import of animals to prevent the introduction of exotic diseases into Singapore and safeguard the health and welfare of animals."