2 live pythons being smuggled into S'pore seized at Tuas Checkpoint, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper
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2 live pythons being smuggled into S'pore seized at Tuas Checkpoint

Two live pythons being smuggled into Singapore in a styrofoam box in a lorry from Malaysia were seized at Tuas Checkpoint on Thursday (April 7).

In a joint statement released on Saturday, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and the National Parks Board (NParks) said that ICA officers found the pythons hidden in a styrofoam box in the cabin of the Malaysia-registered lorry, which was transporting cement.

The Malaysian driver initially claimed that the box, which had multiple perforations on its sides, contained food. But upon further questioning, he admitted that it contained live snakes.

The driver, who did not possess valid import permits, was referred to NParks for investigation.

The snakes, which are 4.8m and 3.8m long, are reticulated pythons - a species protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Importing a protected species without a permit is an offence under the Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act, punishable by a jail term of up to two years, a fine of up to $50,000, or both.

Illegal trade in wildlife threatens biodiversity and disrupts ecosystems, and can also pose serious health risks, as it evades biosecurity and sanitary controls, the statement said.

It added that the poor conditions under which animals are smuggled could lead to unnecessary suffering and death.

Reticulated pythons are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. PHOTO: ICA

Hence, NParks strictly regulates the import of animals to prevent the introduction of exotic diseases into Singapore, safeguard the welfare of animals, and tackle illegal wildlife trade, the statement said.

Those with information on suspected illegal wildlife trade activities can report them to NParks on 1800-476-1600. Information shared will be kept confidential.

The public can also help by not purchasing wildlife and keeping them as pets, the statement added.

It reminded travellers not to bring live animals, including birds and insects, into the country without a permit.

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