New York: Custom officers and federal agents witnessed an unusual smuggling at John F Kennedy airport recently. A passenger was caught carrying 70 live birds in hair rollers, in a duffel bag!
US Customs and Border Protection agents stopped the arriving passenger on a flight from Georgetown, Guyana to New York.
“CBP Agriculture Specialists are the first line of defense to prevent the introduction of animal diseases that have the potential to cause significant damage to the nation’s agricultural economy,” told Troy Miller, director of field operations, New York Field Office, to the media.
Anthony Bucci, a spokesman for the agency in New York, told The Washington Post that over the past 12 to 18 months, agents in New York have seized nearly 200 finches. The birds are sedated and hidden inside hair rollers or, sometimes, toilet paper tubes, to attempt to sneak them past agents, he added.
The guilty was stopped from entering the United States and his application was withdrawn so that he may re-apply for visit.
The penalty for smuggling birds can be amounted up to $25,000, according to the smuggling, along with jail term for up to 2 years. However, there are no further penalty in this case, officials confirmed.
The smuggled birds are basically used for gambling – as to how loud or for how long or how many times in a minute will a bird chirp. It’s unclear how much finches are worth in other countries, but the small birds range in a price from $18 to $25 on PetSmart.com.
US Customs and Border Protection said in a statement that the birds have been “detained under quarantine.”