From the duh files: Don’t hide produce on your yacht when visiting NZ

The New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries says a visiting yacht skipper hid fruit, vegetables and meat all over her vessel instead of declaring them to a quarantine officer in Opua, Bay of Islands, in November 2014.

duhDianne Margaret Joy Young, 64, resident of Australia, pleaded guilty to possessing unauthorised goods and providing a false statement to a quarantine officer in Kaikohe District. Judge de Ridder fined her $1500 on each charge – $3,000 in total.

During a search of the vessel, that had just arrived from Fiji, a Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) quarantine officer found an assortment of fresh items hidden in different compartments – eggs, oranges, apples, tomatoes, pumpkin, pineapple, onions, kumara, ginger, garlic, spring onions, meat patties, ham, eggplant, bok choy, cabbage, cucumber, capsicum and lettuce.

All are considered ‘risk goods’ and could harbour pests such as Queensland Fruit Fly that could damage New Zealand crops and export opportunities.

As the ‘risk goods’ were being uncovered, Ms Young initially maintained there was nothing further on board. She later showed the quarantine officer further risk goods, saying that she had intended to eat it all on board and didn’t want to waste it.

MPI Northern Investigations Manager David Blake says the conviction and fine sends a message that visiting yachties will face harsh consequences if they don’t take our biosecurity rules seriously.

“Ms Young’s actions endangered both New Zealand’s natural environment and the livelihood of New Zealand’s farming community.

“The interception of the risk items shows New Zealand’s biosecurity system is working. It also justifies MPI’s increased biosecurity focus on arriving yachts over the last two seasons.”

A French skipper was convicted and fined $3,000 last year for similar offences after deliberately hiding ‘risk goods’ when her vessel was inspected in Opua after arriving from New Caledonia in November 2014.


12 bizarre foods confiscated from U.S. borders

From, people try to sneak in the darndest foods when they’re entering the U.S. From Argentine vicuña patties to Zambian baobab fruit, officials confiscate enough food at the border to throw a months-long (and rather exotic) feast (learn more about it right here).

chinese.beans.oct.14U.S. Customs officials provided a copy of their records from fiscal year 2010 to 2013 listing the kinds, quantities, and countries of departure for all the food items they seized from all commercial flights into America. Meanwhile, we sent photographers to LAX to document a day’s haul at the Customs checkpoint. Here’s what we found

My fav is the Chinese long beans which can be easily purchased in L.A.


Who takes eggs through an airport? Alleged smuggler stopped in Sydney

Anyone who has been to Australia knows, don’t mess with customs folks.

A Czech man who allegedly tried to smuggle 16 bird eggs into Australia by hiding them in his pants has been charged.

imagesThe 39-year-old was frisked at Sydney Airport by customs officers after arriving from Dubai on Tuesday.

“Officers … allegedly found 16 small eggs concealed in his groin area,” Customs NSW commander Tim Fitzgerald said.

Government vets are trying to identify the species of bird.

Smuggled food poses foot-and-mouth risk in Australia

Australians take disease control at the border seriously. Fly into any Aussie airport from overseas and your contents will be scrutinized; they also have some of the best dog snifferes anywhere, and they’re everywhere. There’s even a reality show about customs control.

So it’s no surprise a senate inquiry has heard banned food is being smuggled into Australia from countries with foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), jeopardising Australia’s agriculture.

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) told a senate estimates hearing on Monday that smuggled goods posed a real risk to Australia, which has been free of FMD for more than 100 years.

Among the tonnes of illegal imports seized in raids this year have been food products, including more than 760kg of ice cream, from FMD countries.

The warning comes after a company director pleaded guilty in a Brisbane court last week to having dealt with illegally imported meat and dairy products from South Korea.

DAFF, in conjunction with Australian Customs and Border Protection Service and trading partners, has been running targeted campaigns, random cargo inspections and a hotline to crack down on illegal food imports.

One such campaign, known as Operation Hayride, was set up after DAFF uncovered during a routine inspection in late 2010, evidence of the deliberate import of banned foods.

DAFF selected 225 targets for inspection and raided more than 300 retail premises, discovering 132 tonnes of banned goods including meat and dairy products.

“One of the benefits with Operation Hayride was when you start digging you get more leads as you go,” said DAFF’s Tim Chapman from the Border Compliance Division.

Evidence from this saw company director Yoo Young Jack Kim last week sentenced to 12 months imprisonment for importing banned food from South Korea.

Nigeria intercepts chickens stuffed with $150,000 worth of cocaine

I make an OK stuffed chicken but it may be more crowd-pleasing with $150,000 worth of cocaine inside.

Nigerian authorities say a mechanic who struggled in Brazil for more than six years had hoped the drugs would buy him a life of luxury in his native land.

“This was like a retirement plan for him,” said Mitchell Ofoyeju, spokesman for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

The accused was arrested over the weekend at the airport in Lagos after he came in from Sao Paolo with 2.6 kilograms of cocaine, Ofoyeju said. Photos from the agency showed egg-shaped packages wrapped in gold aluminum foil and tucked into the browned chickens.

Authorities have found drugs sandwiched inside the fabric of suitcases, sewn into wigs worn by female passengers, tucked into underwear or hidden in phone chargers and even in a stethoscope, Ofoyeju said.

Sandra Bullock smuggles sausage

Sandra Bullock wouldn’t stand a chance against the AQIS beagles.

Australia has an impressive quarantine and inspection service for folks arriving to the island. So do lots of countries. The reason is that people want their nostaligic food, but have no concept of the consequences of disease introduction; think foot and mouth disease in the UK, which was ultimately linked to some overseas food eventually fed to pigs.

People magazine, for those who can’t get enough of celebrities, artists and athletes who should focus on their craft instead of speaking, reports that Sandra Bullock’s Christmas dinner involves illegally importing sausages from Germany to continue a meal tradition started by the actress’s mother.

"Since my mother passed, we break the law, because we have to manage to smuggle German sausages into the country, and apparently bringing meats across the waters is against the law," Bullock, 47, told Jay Leno during an appearance on The Tonight Show. "You fry ’em up with some sauerkraut and potato salad, but they have to be the right ones."

Bullock said her family sends out an "SOS" to a handful of loved ones overseas to send the meats over to the U.S.

"We just have to break the law a little bit, but eventually someone’s package gets through," she told Leno.

When pressed about the method, Bullock said with a smirk: "I’m not at liberty to divulge how we smuggle the sausage."