A Christchurch security guard has been sentenced to 18 weeks home detention for attempting to smuggle lizards into the country.
Duncan Keith Absolum, 24, brought four lizards back in his luggage from South East Asia in May last year.
Two were dead and two were alive. They were euthanised at a cost of $150.
On arrival back in New Zealand, Absolum completed and signed a passenger arrival card where he declared he was aware of the contents of his baggage and was not carrying any animals or animal products.
Biosecurity officers checked his baggage and found the reptiles in a tethered umbrella located inside the suitcase.
Absolum admitted to officers he had packed his suitcase in Thailand before leaving and was aware of its contents.
His seized cell phone also showed seven photographs of lizards.
He was charged with knowingly making a false declaration on his arrival card under the Biosecurity Act, and attempting to possess or control unauthorised goods.