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Student caught hiding biosecurity risk goods

5 March 2013

Student caught hiding biosecurity risk goods

A Christchurch international student showed total disregard for New
Zealand’s biosecurity rules when he tried to cross the border with
food hidden in empty tea packages, says the Ministry for Primary
Industries (MPI).

An MPI quarantine official found dried kumara and pork-filled buns in
two large bags of tea when he inspected the baggage of a 16-year-old
Burnside High School student arriving at Christchurch airport from
China on Friday.

A cockroach escaped from the bag containing the buns and ran across
the search bench during closer inspection. It was quickly captured,
says Michael Walker, Team Leader, MPI Border Clearance Services
South.

“We were particularly unimpressed by the contempt the student
showed to our biosecurity laws and to the dangers to which he was
exposing New Zealand’s primary sectors and environment, says Mr
Walker.

“He clearly knew he was breaking the rules, otherwise he wouldn’t
have hidden the food.”

Mr Walker says the passenger was younger than 17, which meant no
legal action could be taken.

MPI plans to visit the school to ensure international students there
are aware of their biosecurity obligations.

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