A total of 22 illegal creatures were found at Wu Hu Aquarium in a surprise inspection - including sturgeons, paddlefish, and two highly endangered tortoises.
SINGAPORE: The owner of Wu Hu Aquarium was fined S$41,000 in court on Wednesday (Mar 18) for the possession and sale of illegal wildlife, said the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) in a news release.
On Apr 2, 2014, AVA said its officers conducted a surprise inspection on Wu Hu Aquarium following a tip-off that illegal animals were on sale in the shop. A total of 22 illegal creatures were found, including sturgeons, paddlefish, newts, clawed frogs and turtles.
A ploughshare tortoise and radiated tortoise were also found in styrofoam boxes at the back of the shop. AVA said the tortoises are critically endangered species listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), for which international commercial trade is prohibited.
Further investigations showed that all the animals had been imported into Singapore without relevant import permits, AVA said. The animals have been sent to the Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
AVA added that under the Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act (ESA), CITES permits are required for any import, export and re-export of CITES species, including their parts and products. It is also an offence under the ESA if any person is found in possession of, or selling CITES species which have been illegally imported.
Those found infringing the Act could be jailed for up to two years and could also face a fine of up to S$50,000 per species, but not exceeding an aggregate of S$500,000. Photos.