SINGAPORE – Two live pythons smuggled into Singapore in a polystyrene box on a truck from Malaysia were seized at the 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 ICA officers found the pythons hiding in a polystyrene box in the cab of the truck registered in Malaysia, which was transporting cement. .
The Malaysian driver initially claimed that the box, which had multiple perforations in its sides, contained food. But upon further questioning, he admitted it contained live snakes.
The driver, who did not have a valid import permit, was referred to NParks for investigation.
The snakes, which measure 4.8m and 3.8m in length, are reticulated pythons – a species protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
Importing a protected species without a permit is an offense under the Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act, punishable by imprisonment for up to two years, fine of up to $50,000, or both.
Illegal wildlife trade threatens biodiversity and disrupts ecosystems, and can also pose serious health risks as it evades biosecurity and health controls, the statement said.
He added that the poor conditions in which the animals are smuggled could lead to unnecessary suffering and death.