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Friday, 2 February, 2001, 18:35 GMT
Tourist smuggled geckos in pants
A German reptile collector has been fined US$5,300 for attempting to smuggle lizards out of New Zealand in his pants.

gecko
Geckos are protected under New Zealand law
Customs intercepted Jorg Kreutz, 38, trying to leave the country with two green geckos in his underwear, according to Customs Minister Phillida Bunkle.

The geckos, a male and pregnant female, were seized alive, but the female has since died, according to the Associated Press.

Officials said Mr Kreutz, a shop assistant from Frankfurt-Am-Main, was the first person convicted for trying to export protected reptiles since the recent revision of the Wildlife Act to allow for tougher penalties.

"The stiff fine given to Kreutz highlights the court's willingness to impose significantly greater penalties on offenders," Conservation Minister Sandra Lee said.

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15 Dec 00 | Sci/Tech
Reptile smuggler admits 40 charges
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