Man caught with 22 star tortoises at Woodlands Checkpoint

Man caught with 22 star tortoises at Woodlands Checkpoint

SINGAPORE: A total of 22 star tortoises were found in the boot of a car at the Woodlands Checkpoint on Jun 23 and have since been handed over to the Agri-Food Veterinary Authority (AVA), the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority and AVA said in a joint statement on Monday (Jun 27).

The driver, a 49-year-old Singaporean man, has also been handed over to the AVA and is now assisting with investigations. Checkpoint officers had found the tortoises kept in a bag placed among other bags of groceries in the car boot.

The star tortoises are now under the care of the Wildlife Reserves Singapore, they added.

Star tortoises are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), for which Singapore is a signatory.

Under the Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act, the import and export/re-export of star tortoises require CITES permits. Offenders in violation of this Act can be fined up to S$50,000 (not to exceed an aggregate of S$500,000) per animal, and/or face a jail term of up to two years.