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National Parks Board and Singapore Customs seized largest shipment of pangolin scales in a single haul globally in recent years

04 Apr 2019

- Close to 13 tonnes of pangolins scales along with nearly 180 kg of ivory pieces discovered in container


On 3 April 2019, the National Parks Board (NParks) and Singapore Customs inspected a 40-footer container at the Pasir Panjang Export Inspection Station. The shipment was declared to contain “frozen beef”, and was on the way from Nigeria to Vietnam. Upon inspection by NParks and Singapore Customs, 12.9 tonnes of pangolin scales, packed in 230 bags, worth about US$38.7 million (approximately S$52.3 million) were uncovered. This is the largest shipment of pangolin scales seized in a single haul globally in recent years. The shipment also included 177kg of cut up and carved elephant ivory estimated to be worth US$88,500 (approximately S$120,000). The seizure was made possible through the joint efforts of NParks and Singapore Customs.

Singapore is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) and is committed to international effort to curb illegal wildlife trade. Elephants and pangolins are protected species under CITES. International trade in elephant ivory and pangolin is prohibited.

Under the Endangered Species (Import & Export) Act, the maximum penalty for illegal import, export and re-export of wildlife is a fine of up to $500,000 and/or 2 years’ imprisonment. The same penalties apply to transit or transhipment of illegal wildlife species, including their parts and derivatives.

The Singapore Government adopts a zero-tolerance stance on the use of Singapore as a conduit to smuggle endangered species and their parts and derivatives. Our agencies will continue to collaborate and maintain vigilance to tackle the illegal wildlife trade.


Information accurate as of 4 April 2019

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Last updated on 06 April 2021

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