18 May 2015

Man tried to smuggle plants in underpants

5:39 pm on 18 May 2015

A gardener is facing prosecution after trying to smuggle plants in his underpants into the country.

The plants found in the man's underpants.

The plants found in the man's underpants. Photo: Supplied / MPI

The passenger was caught with plant cuttings, a bulb, and seeds when he arrived into Auckland from Poland on Saturday.

The bio-security staff strip-searched the passenger after a detector dog sniffed out the plants near the man's groin.

Ministry for Primary Industries spokesperson Craig Hughes said the gardener was wearing two pairs of underpants and the itchy concealment included ivy from a castle in Poland.

He said the man was a New Zealand resident and wanted the plants for his garden.

Mr Hughes said the case has been referred to MPI investigators and the man was likely to be prosecuted.

If convicted, he could face a hefty fine of up to $100,000, or a maximum penalty of five years in prison.