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Wet trousers give away fish smuggler

A man’s master plan to smuggle live fish into New Zealand was thwarted after airport officials saw his trousers were dripping wet.

Cichlid fish

If you plan to sneak fish into another country it is probably best you come up with a better transport method than stuffing them in your pockets.

Sadly this advice came too late for a Vietnamese resident travelling from Australia who tried to smuggle seven cichlids by hiding them in plastic bags in his trousers.

But his plan failed when water begun to seep from the bags and was detected by officials.

Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) spokesman Craig Hughes said: ‘This appears to be a deliberate attempt to smuggle fish into the country without any consideration of the biosecurity risk involved.

‘That’s something we take very seriously. The fish could have been carrying diseases or have the potential to displace native species.’

The traveller, who said the fish belonged to a friend, faces a possible fine of $100,000 for breaching New Zealand’s Biosecurity Act.

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