Sri Lankan passenger fined $5,500 for trying to bring plant cuttings into Australia

A Sri Lankan traveller to Australiawho attempted to hide plant cuttings in the luggage, which also included bananas and flour, was fined Australian dollar 5500.

The passenger had been fined at Sydney Airport on 16.

According to the ABC News, The same day, a passenger arriving in Brisbane from the Philippines was caught bringing macadamia plants, cotton tree seeds and mango.

This passenger was also fined dollar 5500.

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry said the plants could have carried a number of diseases, of which the most feared was xyella.

An outbreak of the bacterial disease was estimated to cost Australian farmers more than $11 billion, depending on the size of the incursion.

Australia’s biosecurity officials have been on high alert since foot-and-mouth disease was detected in Indonesia last year.

An outbreak of the animal virus in Australia could wipe tens of billions of dollars from Australia’s economy.

Biosecurity laws were amended late last year, increasing the maximum penalty to dollar 5,500 from 1 January this year.

The first infringement under the new laws was issued on 5 May 5 an Australian passenger carrying seeds when re-entering the country.

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