Man caught red-handed smuggling plants in underpants

By Rewi Heke

A man is facing prosecution after attempting to smuggle plants into the country which was found hidden in his underpants.

Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) staff intercepted plant cuttings, a bulb, a tuber and seeds after an arriving air passenger was searched at Auckland International Airport on Saturday. 

MPI conducted a strip search after a biosecurity detector dog sniffed out the plants near the man’s groin.

According to MPI official Craig Hughes, “He wanted the plants for his garden, saying he could not find them in New Zealand.”

Mr Hughes says the case has been referred to MPI investigators and that the man is likely to be prosecuted under the Biosecurity Act.