American admits smuggling Aussie lizards – by strapping them to his body (again)

Fresh off reports that a Peruvian man tried to smuggle 18 baby moneys into Mexico City by strapping them to his body, Michael Plank, owner of US-based Big Game Reptiles, admitted in a Californian court he smuggled 15 live Australian lizards into the US by strapping them to his chest.

Acting on a tip from a "confidential informant", a pat-down search on Plank after he arrived at Los Angeles international airport last November on a United Airlines flight originating in Sydney found two money belts strapped to his chest containing two geckos, two monitor lizards and 11 skinks worth more than $US8500 ($A9400).

Plank pleaded guilty after initially denying the charges.