“I love birds and I don’t have kids,” was Canada resident Davendra Narine’s explanation for attempting to smuggle 10 ‘Towa Towa’ birds onto a flight in his hand luggage.
Narine, 56, was yesterday charged in a city court with attempting to smuggle 10 chestnut-bellied seed finches, commonly known as ‘Towa Towa’ birds on March 7, at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri without permission.
Narine, who resides in Toronto, Canada, pleaded guilty to the charge after it was read to him by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan.
According to the facts presented by police prosecutor Arvin Moore, Narine was an outgoing passenger on Fly Jamaica Flight 258.
It was during a security check and screening of his hand luggage that a plastic bag with what appeared to be hair curlers were found. Further investigations revealed that the objects were ‘Towa Towa’ birds.
When questioned Narine, a machine operator, accepted that they belonged to him and admitted that he was taking them back to Canada.
When asked why he was smuggling the birds, Narine then told the court that he loved birds and did not have any children.
He noted that he has four birds in Canada already.
Chief Magistrate McLennan then fined Narine $140,000 with an alternative of a sentence of eight months in jail if he could not pay the fine. He was also prohibited from obtaining an import and export licence for the next 12 months.