Scorpion smugglers stung by MPI


Four people who smuggled scorpions into New Zealand have been charged after a Ministry for Primary Industries sting.

Four men are charged with various breaches to the Biosecurity Act 1993 after six Black Rock Scorpions (Urodacus manicatus) were allegedly smuggled from Australia through Christchurch International Airport and then into Queenstown.

In April 2013, MPI received information that a Queenstown man was in possession of scorpion. As a result of this information a search was carried out in April and a live scorpion was discovered.

Further investigations, including obtaining cell phone records, suggested that there were more scorpions. A further search warrant was carried out at two addresses in Queenstown and Arrowtown. Questioning of the defendants during the searches indicated that a total of four men were involved in the smuggling ring and that all of the scorpions had been destroyed. MPI is satisfied that all of the smuggled scorpions have been accounted for. . .

Breaching bio-security like this isn’t funny but sub-editors will enjoy the opportunity to headline a story about a scorpion sting in the figurative sense of the word.

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