Officials crack a wildlife smuggling case - when eggs started hatching at the airport

Airport police heard smuggled wildlife eggs hatching as a Sydney man tried to return back to Australia. Pictures: Australia Border Force.
Airport police heard smuggled wildlife eggs hatching as a Sydney man tried to return back to Australia. Pictures: Australia Border Force.

The noise of a cracking egg was the undoing of a wildlife trafficker at an Australian airport recently.

Border officials were alerted to the attempted quarantine breach as a smuggled African animal starting hatching earlier than planned.

Hiding wildlife and plants in socks are a favourite among smugglers.

A X-ray unit at the Melbourne mail centre also recently discovered 107 live succulent plants with soil concealed in socks.

Back to the eggs, a Sydney man, was who returning from South Africa, was found to have 21 eggs hidden on his body and in his luggage, wrapped for safety in his socks.

It is not known what the wildlife was.

There are big rewards for wildlife smugglers who manage to breach Australia's borders - imported wildlife can be worthy many thousands of dollars for collectors.

Airport police heard smuggled wildlife eggs hatching as a Sydney man tried to return back to Australia. Pictures: Australia Border Force.

Airport police heard smuggled wildlife eggs hatching as a Sydney man tried to return back to Australia. Pictures: Australia Border Force.

The Sydney man has been sentenced to 18 months jail to be served as an intensive corrections order after admitting the smuggling attempt.

The Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment investigated the discovery after being alerted by the Australian Border Force.

Border force officials at Sydney International Airport suspected the Sydney man was up to no good after hearing the eggs hatching.

The eggs were tested and found to be protected specimens under the international wildlife protection treaty which Australia is a party to.

Disrupting illegal wildlife trade is a priority for the department, with these offences carrying a maximum penalty of 10 years jail or a $222,000 fine.

This story Officials crack a wildlife smuggling case - when eggs hatch at the airport first appeared on Farm Online.