Man who sold Siamese fighting fish from home fined $3,000

Wan Ting Koh
·Senior Reporter
·2 min read
Betta fish in glass bowls.
Betta fish in glass bowls. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — A man who ran a business selling Siamese fighting fish from his flat between 2019 and last year was fined $3,000 on Wednesday (17 March).

Muhammad Irfan Khairudin, a 28-year-old Singaporean, had also kept two live bearded dragons in separate tanks when National Parks (NParks) officers visited his flat at Ang Mo Kio on 17 July last year.

Irfan pleaded guilty to two charges of keeping the wildlife without approval and one charge of selling 10 bettas without a valid license, in contravention of the Animals and Birds (Pet Shop and Exhibition) Rules.

In 2019, Irfan started social media accounts selling the fighting fish, also known as bettas. Fighting fish are commonly found in petshops in Singapore and are popular for their bright colours.

Irfan sold his first fish for $20 from his flat and subsequently sold 10 more through the Telegram application.

NParks got wind of Irfan's fishy business on 15 April 2020 and visited his flat in July.

On the bearded dragons, NParks prosecutor Packer Mohamed said that they were native to Australia and that the ones seen in Singapore are smuggled from Johor Bahru. The bearded dragons could pose a threat if they were to accidentally escape, said the prosecutor.

He said the sale of pets in Singapore was regulated to ensure that the pets are not bred in unsanitary conditions.

Irfan had nothing to say in mitigation.

For keeping wildlife without permission in breach of the Wildlife Act, Irfan could have been jailed up to six months, and/or fined up to $10,000. For using unlicensed premises as a pet shop, he could have been jailed up to $5,000.

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