Customs officials can encounter plenty of weird and very illegal items while screening passengers at busy airports. But this smuggler was a rare bird indeed.
Someone had the audacity to attempt to smuggle 70 finches hidden inside hair rollers onto a flight from Georgetown, Guyana, to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) wrote in a news release on Wednesday that the birds were crammed in rollers that were hidden in a black duffel bag.
According to The New York Times, officials suspect the birds were being smuggled to participate in singing contests, which are a niche pastime in some New York communities and can gross a lot of money for winning birds.
The CBP’s agricultural specialists placed these birds in quarantine under control of the United States Department of Agriculture Veterinary Services. Officials say the fowl could potentially spread diseases like avian flu, which is why they’re banned from coming here. Troy Miller, Director, Field Operations, New York Field Office, said in a statement:
“CBP Agriculture Specialists are the first line of defense to prevent the introduction of animal diseases that have the potential to cause significant damage to the Nation’s agricultural economy.”
While the ruse didn’t work—maybe carrying 70 hair rollers is a bit suspicious—you have to give some credit for creativity to whoever’s responsible. You also have to wonder what kind of cover they’ll use next time.
For more bizarre contraband, check out the oddball glory of the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Instagram account, which showcases antique firearms, wedding-themed grenades, and plenty of stranger things people have tried to carry on planes.
Source: Associated Press