We applaud MPI for their great work catching an Auckland woman smuggling plants into New Zealand, who was recently prosecuted.
The woman sells succulents and cacti on TradeMe and was caught at Auckland airport, with plants hidden in stockings concealed on her person. She has been sentenced to intensive supervision for 12 months and 100 hours' community work.
Plants are so highly valued right now and there have been many instances of plant theft. But it is the height of stupidity for people to smuggle plants in illegally, rather than go through the proper import processes, following biosecurity import rules and using quarantine facilities run by professional operators. NZ Plant Producers strongly condemns illegal importation of plants.
We commend MPIs efforts and vigilance in stopping this in its tracks and expects it will fire a warning shot to others who may be thinking of doing the same thing.
More details about the case can be found on MPI's website: