A 39-year-old Thai woman who had earlier been fined for bringing assorted meat products without a licence into Singapore has been penalised again for the same offence by a local court.
Straits Times reported that this was the first time a case of illegal import of dried frogs was brought to a court.
On Wednesday (20 December), Kanokporn Junsricha was fined $10,000 (£7464.10) after she admitted to illegally bringing 10kg of dried frogs into the country on 9 December, the website reported.
Junsricha had committed the same crime in August this year when she was made to pay a $5,000 fine for illegally importing 67kg of assorted meat products.
According to Singapore law, offenders who are caught repeating the offence of importing meat products without a licence can be jailed for up to three years and fined up to $100,000.
Yap Teck Chuan, prosecutor of Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), said that immigration officers at the Arrival Cargo Clearance Centre of the Woodlands Checkpoint stopped a Thailand-registered pickup truck on 9 December. Two Thai men, including the driver of the vehicle, were found transporting the dried frogs which were hidden among other food products.
Court documents did not mention if any action was taken against the two men caught illegally importing the dried frogs. Meanwhile, an investigation led the immigration officers to Junsricha.
"The importation of dried frogs from Thailand is prohibited. There is a risk that such illegal import of dried frogs may inadvertently carry the salmonella bacteria which could cause serious food poisoning to consumers," Yap said. The bacteria is known to cause diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.
During the court proceeding on Wednesday, Junsricha who was unrepresented, reportedly pleaded for leniency. She told District Judge Kan Shuk Weng that she was forced to sell the dried animals to support her family. "I need to come to Singapore to carry out a business to support my family. I will get a licence from AVA in the future," she added.