Man says seeds hidden in socks were food for flight

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

A Chinese man flying into New Zealand hid seeds in socks - then claimed his mother had packed them to ensure he had food for his journey, a court has heard.

Yaping Wang pleaded guilty to attempting to possess unauthorised goods and was convicted and fined $2000 relating to an incident on January 12 when he appeared in court last week.

Wang was intercepted at Auckland airport with packets of seeds concealed in his jacket and luggage after arriving from China.

He said he thought his mother packed them so that he had some food for his flight.

But the court was told the seeds were wrapped in 14 socks and buried at the bottom of his luggage.

In another case, Philip Chong was caught importing prohibited plant material after packages were intercepted at the international mail centre in Auckland under a false name.

On Monday, Chong pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing unauthorised goods and was convicted and sentenced to 200 hours of community work.

Ministry for Primary Industries spokesman Craig Hughes said both cases were blatant breaches of the Biosecurity Act.

"It is neither legal nor wise to import plant material into the country without approval and doing presents a very real threat to New Zealand's biosecurity."

- APNZ

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