Smuggler found with birds in hair curlers during airport search

Caught trying to smuggle 25 songbirds out of the country by hiding them in hair curlers in his luggage, Nazeem Karim was yesterday fined and disqualified from obtaining an import and export licence

Karim, of Lot 3 ‘C’ Clonbrook, had initially been brought before Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry on Monday and had been remanded to prison until yesterday. During his second appearance, Karim once again pleaded guilty to the charge which alleged that he, on January 18, at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri (CJIA), attempted to illegally export the birds.

According to Prosecutor Michael Grant, Karim had been an outgoing passenger on Travel Span flight number V2502 destined for New York when his carry-on luggage was searched by ranks from the Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit (CANU). During the search of the man’s suitcase, a number of birds were found hidden in hair curlers. Grant said that the 25 curlers found each contained a bird. Karim was then asked whether he had a licence to export birds, to which he responded in the negative.

The birds were subsequently examined and were identified as “twa twa” birds and two other species of songbirds. Karim was fined $100,000 and disqualified for five years from obtaining an import and export licence.

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