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NZ Customs nets wildlife smuggler with fish in pants

NZ Customs nets wildlife smuggler with fish in pants

WELLINGTON: A Vietnamese man’s attempt to smuggle tropical fish into New Zealand in his pants floundered when he tried to get through customs with his pockets dripping water, officials said. The man arrived at Auckland airport from Australia and officials suspected something was fishy because liquid was seeping from the bulging pockets of his cargo pants.

The man initially said he was carrying water from the plane because he was thirsty but a subsequent grilling uncovered the presence of the fish. It said the man had seven fish, all an unidentified species of cichlid, secreted away in two plastic bags in his pockets.

An official said the man will face charges, which carries maximum penalties of five years’ jail or a NZ$100,000 fine.