Photo Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection
CBP officers discovered eight live finches concealed inside a hidden compartment in the passenger’s computer bag.
By Forum Staff
A Guyanese man was recently detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport and fined after live birds were discovered in one of his bags, according to federal officials.
The passenger arrived at JFK on June 5 on a flight from Georgetown, Guyana. United States Customs and Border Protection officers conducted an examination of the man’s computer bag and discovered eight live finches concealed inside a hidden compartment.
The man, who was not identified, was further interviewed by CBP Agriculture Specialists who quarantined the finches and issued a $300 fine to the traveler. The seized birds were turned over to personnel from the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Veterinary Services. The passenger was later admitted to the United States.
“The introduction of an animal or plant-borne pest or disease could have a devastating impact on America’s agricultural industry,” said Frank Russo, CBP port director at JFK.
According to CBP, the agency has stopped six such smuggling attempts at JFK in 2018, seizing a total of 114 birds. In April, two Guyanese men attempted to smuggle 26 live finches at the airport.