Fruit smuggler sent home

Apples were found in the passengers baggage. File photo.

An American traveller had her Easter visit to New Zealand cut short when she failed to declare a suitcase packed with fruit and vegetables.

Ministry for Primary Industries staff detected the goods during x-ray screening of the passenger's bag after she arrived at Christchurch on a flight from Sydney on Saturday morning.

She was forced to return to Sydney the same day on the next available flight, after the matter was referred to Immigration New Zealand.

"The passenger admitted she was deliberately trying to smuggle the food into New Zealand. When asked why, she said didn't want to cause delays for her travelling companions and she wasn't sure what she could bring in," says Andrew Spelman, MPI Border Clearance Services Manager, Central and South.

"The suitcase included oranges, apples, avocados, sweet potato and carrots. We're talking potential host materials for a range of bugs could that devastate New Zealand's horticulture sector.

"The deliberate and reckless nature of her actions forced our hand. They needed to be dealt with more severely than a warning or a simple infringement notice.

"The decision to refuse the woman entry shows both MPI and Immigration New Zealand are prepared to take a tough stance on biosecurity when required.”


Rough Justice!

Posted on 25-04-2017 19:45 | By Mackka

They send this fruit smuggler home but let the sex offender stay - so much for our legal system!


Posted on 20-04-2017 10:19 | By Papamoaner

Your brand of humour doesn't ap-peel

How about

Posted on 19-04-2017 19:13 | By astex

If she completed the round journey back to Aussie does that make it a fruit loop. Sorry!


Posted on 19-04-2017 17:46 | By Papamoaner

They're at the core of the argument, but they still give me the pip.

How do you like them apples?

Posted on 19-04-2017 16:07 | By manbearpig


@ A.Campbell and Fonzie

Posted on 19-04-2017 15:45 | By Papamoaner

You spotted my "deliberate mistake" haha. I was hoping Kenny would bail me out but didn't, so Fair Cop Gov.On a small point for A.Campbell, It was MPI. Customs core business doesn't include fruit etc. Touche! We all make those small mistakes, especially when speed reading, so my Touche is more in the nature of an endearment than a payback. I choose to simply ignore N.Emma. It's good to debate issues, exchange views and spot errors, but sarcasm and nasty tone without provocation is never appropriate, nor a good look.


Posted on 19-04-2017 14:23 | By Papamoaner

Hope you can get my Kenny Rogers joke on the other post

Hook line and sinker

Posted on 19-04-2017 14:21 | By Papamoaner

Poetic licence for the the Aussies. She came in via Sydney. Even better when subtlety is lost on the minions

Good stance Customs

Posted on 19-04-2017 13:16 | By A.Campbell

hey papamoaner-dont think you can read too well? she was an American traveller-not Australian? LOL, thats a blatant and total ignorance of a countries laws, so a good stance by NZ Customs, keep it up guys.


Posted on 19-04-2017 13:08 | By Fonzie

Is a universal problem. The article clearly states she is American not Australian

My dear Papamoaner,

Posted on 19-04-2017 12:37 | By N Emma

Before you further question this woman's literacy and comprehension, may I suggest you reread the first sentence of this article?

Excellent result team!

Posted on 19-04-2017 10:22 | By Papamoaner

I hope she had to pay her own return air fare. The woman must be of low intelligence to try a stupid act like that. Did she not even read the on-board warning literature? Can she even read? Well, she is Australian after all !

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