A man has been arrested for allegedly attempting to smuggle a rare fish into Australia in a bag of water around his neck.
The 34-year-old Vietnamese man had landed in Adelaide after travelling from Malaysia when selected for a baggage examination, according to a statement from the Australian Border Force (ABF).
The bag containing the fish was produced after a frisk search.
The fish was identified as a Fully Red Asian Arowana, the trade of which is controlled under the international Convention in Trade of Endangered Species, to which Australia is a signatory.
According to the ABF, the fish had to be humanely euthanised, as illegal imports of exotic animals can introduce serious pests and diseases that pose a significant biosecurity risk to Australia.
“The ABF is committed to stopping the trade in rare animals and protecting our delicate natural wildlife from the potentially devastating impact of foreign diseases and predators,” ABF Chief Superintendent, Regional Command SA, Brett Liebich said.
“The ABF takes the illegal wildlife trade seriously and we will continue to work collaboratively with our partners to detect, disrupt and deter illegal activity at our borders.”
The maximum penalty for wildlife trade offences under Australian law is 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $210,000 for individuals or up to $1,050,000 for corporations.