Aviation

Woman busted smuggling nearly $10,000 worth of succulents and cacti into New Zealand

A woman has been sentenced after being busted trying to smuggle $10,000 worth of succulents and endangered cacti into New Zealand.

Auckland-based 31-year-old Wenquing (Wendy) Li was caught by sniffer dogs at Auckland Airport on 24 March 2019 with 947 succulents and cacti inside stockings she had strapped to her body.

The cacti included eight endangered and threatened species, bringing the total of her haul to over NZ$10,000 ($9,418).

After being noticed by the detector dogs, Li tried (unsuccessfully) to dispose of the plants in the airport toilets.

Ministry of Primary Industry (MPI) officers conducted a full search of the toilets and uncovered a large amount of plant material, including three stockings filled with succulents and cacti in one of the rubbish bins inside the men’s lavatory.

Li was also involved in a similar incident on 23 July 2019 when she was found in possession of 142 unauthorised seeds hidden in commercially packaged iPad covers in her luggage, as well as over 200 plant pots and garden ornaments wrapped in mouldy wet paper.

The plant pots were also found to contain a snail and pieces of tree fern stem.

According to a statement from MPI, Li was a seller and trader of succulents and cacti on TradeMe.

As a result, she was sentenced to intensive supervision for 12 months and 100 hours’ community work for smuggling succulents and endangered cacti into New Zealand.

MPI regional team manager of compliance investigations, Simon Anderson, said most people do the right thing when it comes to biosecurity at the border.

“This sentencing serves as a good reminder that anyone who smuggles plants or other endangered species into New Zealand can expect to be prosecuted,” he said.

“It’s important to remember that bringing unauthorised plants into the country by any method, whether smuggling through the border in person or receiving products by mail, puts New Zealand’s biosecurity at risk.”


SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Destinations

Here’s what will happen when the overseas travel ban is lifted on Monday, and everywhere Aussies will be allowed to go

The countdown is on for Australia’s big reopening, and we’ve got all the latest updates from the Health Minister, DFAT and just about everyone else right here.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Australia’s new budget airline reveals leadership team

While Bonza is branding itself as a low-cost carrier, the airline certainly isn’t being skimpy when it comes to leadership.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Australia’s Scenic Rim named among top destinations for 2022 by Lonely Planet

With overseas trips well and truly back on the agenda, the well-travelled folk over at Lonely Planet have unveiled their top picks for destinations next year.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

P&O and Princess extend Aussie cruise pause beyond February 2022

The two Carnival-owned cruise lines have continued their monthly ritual of extending their respective cruise pauses.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Get your butts on this virtual famil with Port of Seattle and you could win a $200 voucher!

While cruising remains uncertain in Australia, Seattle just wrapped up its 2021 season of Alaska sailings! Learn how the city managed pandemic cruising and get some sweet tips for your clients’ next US jaunt.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Landmark Italian tourism campaign set to launch in Australia and beyond

Italy’s new tourism campaign can be described as “grandioso”, “intelligente” and “opportuno”.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Flight Centre announces ‘Travel Runway’, a “revolutionary” digital experience

Flight Centre is channelling fashion shows for its new ‘choose your own adventure’ experience. However, that’s not to suggest Skroo will be strutting down a catwalk in heels.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Singapore reveals when it will start welcoming fully-vaxxed Aussie travellers

The move by the Singapore government doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but it’s a very welcome one nonetheless!

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

South Australia sets reopening date in new COVID Ready plan

The state has set a date to fling its domestic borders open and cut quarantine requirements for overseas travellers in half, so time to start dropping wine tour itineraries in your clients’ DMs.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Aussie tour company shifts into wellness tourism with massive rebrand

The company’s owner, Craig “Hassie” Haslam, reckons those who know him would get a real kick out of his shift into wellness travel, but an uber-popular yoga retreat changed his view.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Monaco is FOR YOU…At Last!

Believe us when we say that Monaco is not just a destination; it is the experience of a lifetime. But, if you and/or your clients need more convincing, give this a read.

Share

CommentComments

Midweek Interview

Life in the time of COVID-19 with Cathay Pacific’s Richard Jones

Cathay Pacific’s regional marketing and sales boss has been keeping himself busy restoring an old seat and “attacking” his garden. He’s even contemplating a backyard decking project.

Share

CommentComments