The officers at Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) who are stationed at Woodlands Checkpoint arrested two women after they found sedated animals, hidden inside their car on Friday, September 6.
When the Singapore register car was arriving the officers decided to refer the vehicle for further checks based on his astute observation of suspicious indicators.
When they stopped the car at the checkpoint and carried out a search operation, ICA officers found 12 sedated live animals, which includes 10 puppies and two cats. All these animals were hidden within a modified speaker box compartment of the car.
ICA officers immediately detained the 32-year-old woman who was driving the car and her Filipino female companion, aged 26. This case was then referred to the National Parks Board (NParks) who will conduct further investigation.
It should be mentioned that those rescued animals are currently under the care and quarantine of the statutory board of the Singapore government, NParks.
ICA stated in a Facebook post, "This method of concealment is a cause for concern as similar methods may be used by people with ill intent to smuggle security items into Singapore.
"The ICA will continue to conduct security checks on passengers and vehicles so as to safeguard Singapore's security."
In Singapore, importing animals and birds without a licence is considered as an offence. As per the law, if a person found guilty of smuggling animals, then he or she has to face a maximum fine of $10,000 and/or jail term of up to one year.
It is also important to understand that the poor condition and the way these animals are smuggled, there is a huge possibility that they may die during the journey.
The country also has a law against such animal cruelty. The law says that cruelty to animals carries a maximum penalty of $15,000 fine, imprisonment for up to 18 months, or both, for a first offence.