QUEENSTOWN: Four people have been charged with smuggling live scorpions into Queenstown from Australia.
Ministry of Primary Industries investigators charged the men with breaches of the Biosecurity Act after six black rock scorpions were allegedly smuggled from Australia through Christchurch International Airport and then into Queenstown.
The four-month biosecurity investigation started in April and was codenamed Operation Rock. Three defendants are expected to appear in Queenstown District Court on October 7 and the other defendant in Christchurch District Court.
The ministry said it received information that a Queenstown man was in possession of a scorpion in April. A search was conducted and a live scorpion was discovered.