A Singapore marine fish trader was fined $56,000 for attempting to smuggle endangered coral and giant clams from Indonesia.
Victor Tan received the fine after he pleaded guilty to all 14 charges of illegally importing hard corals and clams without a permit two weeks ago.
The Agri-food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said each charge carries a penalty of $4,000.
In a statement, the AVA said: 'Each of the boxes contained several pieces of hard corals individually wrapped in clear plastic bags lined with strips of newspaper. There were a total of 276 pieces consisting of 13 species of hard corals and one species of giant clam in the six boxes.'
Tan had attempted to bring in the species via airfreight in June.
The Agri-food and Veterinary Authority said the fish were released to Tan but the contraband was sent to a government-sponsored aquarium.
Environmental groups have urged Singapore to impose heavier fines for illegally importing and keeping endangered species as pets and say Indonesia's reefs and fish life are under threat from overfishing. -- AP
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