The Ministry of Primary Industries has laid importation charges against a Tauranga woman after plants, cuttings and seeds were intercepted at the Customs border. Sandra Conchie reports.
A Tauranga housewife is accused of attempting to import illegal plants, cuttings and seeds, some of which were allegedly intercepted at Customs' international mail centre.
Zureen Tahir, 40, from Judea faced seven charges when she appeared in the Tauranga Registrar's Court yesterday.
Six of the charges relate to Tahir allegedly trying to import unauthorised species of live plants, plant cuttings and seeds from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore.
This includes cuttings of the Hoya carnosa plant, live plants of the variegated White Monstera Delisosa Thai Constellation plant, and Lotus Lantern Flower Pot seeds.
The seventh charge relates to an allegation that Tahir had the live plant hoya latifolia in her possession on February 8 this year.
Each of these charges laid by the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) attracts a maximum penalty of five years' in prison.
The Ministry alleges the offences were committed between June 2018 and April 30 this year.
Tahir was remanded until January 6 when she is expected to enter pleas to the charges.
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Outside court, Ministry of Primary Industries senior prosecutor Morgan Dunn confirmed to the Bay of Plenty Times the allegations centred around Tahir's attempts to import banned plant materials sourced from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore.
Dunn said while the matter was still before the courts he would not comment further.