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Yong Yew Hin, sole-proprietor of Yong Thor Sat Trading Company, was fined $25,000 by the court on Wednesday (Oct 21) for illegally importing meat products.
Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said in a joint statement with Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) that Yong Yew Hin does not hold a valid SFA license to import meat products.
ICA officers at Pasir Panjang Scanning Station detected anomalies in the scanned images of a 40-footer container from China on Oct 30, 2019.
ICA officers then proceeded to conduct further checks on the consignment at a warehouse in Upper Aljunied Link and uncovered 101 cartons of illegally imported meat products.
The case was referred to SFA for subsequent investigation.
More than two tonnes of illegally imported meat consignments, including cured pork ham, duck gizzard, waxed chicken, waxed duck and various canned sausages, were seized.
"Illegally imported food products are of unknown sources and pose a food safety risk," said SFA.
"In Singapore, food imports must meet SFA’s requirements and food safety standards."
SFA added that food can only be imported by licensed importers, and every consignment must be declared and accompanied with a valid import permit.
In addition, meat and its products can only be imported from accredited sources in approved countries that comply with Singapore’s food safety standards and requirements.
Offenders who import meat products illegally from unapproved sources are liable to a fine of $50,000 and/or imprisonment of up to two years and, in the case of a subsequent conviction, to a fine not exceeding $100,000 and/or to imprisonment of up to three years.
"Safeguarding Singapore’s borders remains ICA’s top priority," said ICA.
"The same method of concealment used by contraband smugglers may be used by terrorists to smuggle arms and explosives to carry out attacks in Singapore.
"ICA will continue to conduct security checks on passengers, cargos and vehicles at the checkpoints to prevent attempts to smuggle undesirable persons, drugs, weapons, explosives and other contrabands across our borders."
SFA added that they will also continue to safeguard food safety through their integrated food safety system, which includes strict import regulations and enforcement, and work closely with border control agencies to deter illegal imports across the Singapore borders.