A bird in hand is worth two in the bush but what if you want more than 120 birds?
A 30-year-old man seemed to have that plan when he attempted to smuggle into Singapore 121 live birds as well as 4,500 sachets of chewing tobacco via the Woodlands Checkpoint in the Malaysian-registered tour bus he was driving alone on Monday (Feb 26).
The birds and contraband tobacco were detected by Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers during a course of checks at about 6am.
A joint statement from the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA), Health Sciences Authority (HSA) and Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) said the authorities found the contraband tobacco in three black bundles in red plastic bags.
They were hidden in the luggage compartment at the right side of the bus.
Concealed in another compartment on the same side of the bus were the live birds which were placed in 10 boxes. They comprised Fischer’s Lovebirds, Red Whiskered Bulbuls, White Rumped Shamas and Spotted Doves.
The Fischer’s Lovebird is a protected species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
The statement said that the driver, live birds and the bus were handed over to the AVA for investigations, while the tobacco was referred to the HSA.
The suspect was charged in court on Wednesday (Feb 28).