Undies skink smuggler jailed

A German reptile collector has been jailed for 14 weeks and must pay a $5000 fine for plundering New Zealand’s wild gecko and skink populations.

Hans Kurt Kubus, 58, will be deported as soon as he is released from prison.

His address is given as Bad Munstereifel, Limbach, Germany.

He was caught at Christchurch International Airport in December, about to board an overseas flight with 44 geckos and skinks in compartments in a hand-sewn package concealed in his underwear.

He pleaded guilty straight away to two charges under the Wildlife Act and five under the Trade in Endangered Species Act. He admitted trading in exploited species without a permit and hunting absolutely protected wildlife without authority.

Department of Conservation prosecutor Mike Bodie told the Christchurch District Court at Kubus’ sentencing today that he could have faced potential maximum penalties of half a million dollars and six months in jail.

Mr Bodie told Judge Colin Doherty that the department sought a deterrent sentence. “This is the most serious case of its kind detected in New Zealand for a decade or more.”

He said the geckos may have been worth 2000 euros each on the European market.

Read full story HERE.


About Candace M Hansen

Wildlife advocate, conservationist and environmentalist.
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