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Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) has announced that two Vietnamese who smuggled 12 Chinese Hwamei (Garrulax canorus) into Singapore were each sentenced to six months imprisonment today (29 December).

AVA said that the two men were also sentenced to four months imprisonment for subjecting the birds to unnecessary pain or suffering. Both sentences have been backdated to 15 December 2016 and will run concurrently.

On 9 December 2016, AVA said that it was notified by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) on the detection of 12 live birds in passengers’ luggage bags, which arrived on a flight from Vietnam to Singapore. The birds were concealed in white plastic containers and covered with personal belongings in two luggage bags. The two Vietnamese men were detained, and the birds and luggage bags were seized for AVA’s investigation.

AVA stated that its investigation identified the birds to be Chinese Hwamei, a protected species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The investigation found that the birds had been confined for approximately twelve hours in the plastic containers without food and water. One of the birds did not survive.

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3 April 2014 Acting on a tip-off, officers from the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) and Singapore Customs worked together to intercept and detain a shipment of illegal ivory, estimated to be worth S$2 million.

This is the third largest seizure of illegal ivory by Singapore authorities since 2002

The shipment, which was declared as coffee berries, was transiting through Singapore from Africa in a 20-foot container and destined for another Asian country. AVA and Singapore Customs officers detected irregularities in the consignment of goods when the container was scanned at the Pasir Panjang Export Inspection Station on 25 March 2014.

A total of 106 pieces of illegal raw ivory tusks, weighing about one tonne, were recovered from 15 wooden crates. AVA is currently investigating the case.

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