A mother and son have been jailed for smuggling kittens into Singapore hidden in the man’s trousers nearly three years after customs officials searched him when they heard them meowing.
Justin Ng Chin Boon, 47, was jailed for 12 weeks while his elderly mother Leong Sok Boy, 72, was sentenced to 40 days in prison during their court appearance on 23rd July.
According to reports, the mother pleaded guilty to three charges of smuggling cats without a permit into Singapore from Malaysia, while her son was prosecuted on two counts of violating the country’s Animals and Birds Act.
On the first of two incidents, the mother and son were stopped in a Singapore-registered car at the Tuas Checkpoint while returning from Malaysia on 11th August 2018.
Justin was in the passenger seat and his mother was in the back while the car was being driven by family friend Leow Hua Liang, 42, whose case is still pending.
Customs officials discovered a cat in the mother’s handbag and six others in a bag in the back of the vehicle.
The trio failed to declare transporting the animals and the seven felines were seized by officials.
The three defendants were stopped again on the night of 2nd January 2019 and this time Justin was caught with four kittens down his trousers.
The same as the previous time, Justin was in the passenger seat, his mother was in the back, and Leow was driving.
Customs officials asked them if they had anything to declare and the trio said ‘no’, however, kittens started meowing in the man’s trousers and was overhead by the interrogating agents.
Officials then noticed that the man’s trousers were bulging in the crotch area and carried out a search, finding four kittens.
Justin claimed the cats were his own pets and not for sale, however, they were seized and checked by vets, who said they had suffered in the cramped space during the trip.
It is unclear why it took several years to bring the case to trial, but typically criminal cases in Singapore, where the legal system is based on UK law, often take years to come to a conclusion.