In a court hearing on Friday, a Kuwaiti couple were sentenced to six months in jail, suspended for five years and were fined 138,000 rupees ($860) recently.
The duo were taken into custody for trying to smuggle a Tibetan Mastiff dog through Bandaranaike International Airport in July, without following proper quarantine procedures. The 32-year old woman was also caught on CCTV cameras trying to resist arrest and assaulting customs officers, following the incident.
According to the Customs spokesperson Vipula Minuwanpitiya, the pet was held in secure confinement and was given back to the couple to be taken out of Sri Lanka when they leave.
When bringing animals to Sri Lanka, prior authorization must be Obtained from the Department of Animal Production and Health (DAPH). Also, “Cats and dogs must be accompanied by a veterinarian good health and Rabies certificate issued in country of origin and issued by the veterinary Authorities. A stamp fee of LKR 5- and a Customs fee LKR 250- for each dog must be paid on arrival,” according to the Bandaranaike International Airport Service Center webpage.
Bringing animals into Sri Lanka without proper paperwork and quarantine clearance can cause the forfeiture of the animal as well as fines up to 100,000 rupees.