The unidentified male tried - and failed - to hide three pork and salami sausages in a backpack and sneak them past biosecurity officials at Auckland Airport.
The man was refused entry because the sausages posed a “biosecurity risk”, New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said.
“One of our x-ray operators spotted the risk items” said Craig Hughes, MPI’s north passenger manager. “They turned out to be pork and salami sausages, both of which could have carried diseases with the potential to cause major harm to New Zealand agriculture.”
‘Hard line’ on meat smuggling
When interrogated by airport security, the man admitted he did intend to smuggle the sausages into New Zealand.
The Belgian national was travelling to New Zealand on a work visa but has now been returned home.
“Working closely with Immigration New Zealand, we take a very hard line on international travellers that deliberately ignore our biosecurity rules”, added Hughes.
“It is loud and clear that every arriving passenger is required to declare or dispose of items that could pose a biosecurity risk to New Zealand.”