Parrot smuggler's egg scheme unhatched

Monday, November 29 2004 @ 10:10 AM UTC

Contributed by: MikeSchindlinger

The Sun-Herald, November 14, 2004, Australia

A man has been charged after allegedly trying to smuggle parrot eggs out of Australia in his underpants.

The 50-year-old man, from Lurnea in Sydney's south, was about to board a flight to Zurich on Friday when he was detained by Customs Service officers at Sydney Airport for a search.

Officers allegedly found 23 eggs hidden in his underpants.

The man was searched as a result of inquiries by the Customs Service and the Department of Environment and Heritage, and was charged with attempting to export regulated native specimens.

A customs spokeswoman said it was not yet known what kind of parrot the eggs came from, or whether the eggs were viable.

"I understand they're in an incubator at the moment," she said.

The Department of Environment and Heritage would assess whether the eggs could be hatched, she said.

The man was granted bail to appear in the Downing Centre Local Court on December 14.

The maximum penalty for wildlife smuggling under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act is 10 years' jail and/or a $110,000 fine.