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19 snakes found at airport: Customs


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19 snakes found at airport: Customs

12sep04

A MAN has been arrested at Brisbane airport while allegedly trying to smuggle 19 snakes into Australia hidden in his clothes.

His arrest came less than 24 hours after another man was found allegedly trying to smuggle in 52 birds eggs.

Customs national manager of investigations Richard Janeczko said the man with the snakes was arrested after arriving on a flight from Singapore last night.

He said the man was searched by customs officers who found a purpose-built vest concealed underneath several layers of clothes.

"Customs investigators then examined the vest and found 19 coloured pythons inside cigarette packets which in turn had been placed inside a series of rectangular pockets," Mr Janeczko said.

He said the precise breed of the snakes was yet to be determined, but that would be done in the next few days by the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service.

He said a 47-year-old man had been charged with importing regulated live specimens without a permit.

Earlier, another man was arrested after arriving on a separate flight from Singapore.

He was allegedly carrying 52 birds eggs inside a vest strapped to his body.

Mr Janeczko said the eggs could have posed a high quarantine risk to Australia and would also be examined and identified early this week.

A 48-year-old Australian man was charged with importing regulated live specimens without a permit.

Mr Janeczo said both men would appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court tomorrow.

In July, a 39-year-old Malaysian man was jailed for 15 months after being caught at Sydney airport trying to smuggle birds eggs into Australia.

heraldsun.com

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