11 Aug 2019
Record number of 815 birds discovered in bus in smuggling attempt at Woodlands Checkpoint
On 10 August 2019 at about 7am, a Malaysia-registered bus driven by a 35-year-old male Malaysian was stopped for security checks on arrival at Woodlands Checkpoint.
During the course of checks, alert officers from the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) detected signs of modification around the rear tyres of the bus. Their suspicions were further aroused when they heard chirping sounds coming from within the bus. Upon scrutiny, the officers uncovered 15 containers of 815 birds from modified compartments above the rear tyres of the bus (See Annex A for photos), making it the largest seizure of ornamental birds in Singapore in recent years. As the driver did not possess valid health certificate and import permits, he was referred to the National Parks Board (NParks) for investigation. The 815 birds comprise five species as follows: 38 White-rumped Shamas, 10 Oriental Magpie-Robins, 141 Oriental White-eyes and 626 Munias (Scaly-breasted Munia and White-headed Munia). Only around 600 of the birds survived and are currently being cared for and quarantined at NParks’ facilities (See Annex B for more information on the bird species).