Bird smuggler caught at JFK with bag full of Guyanese Towa Towas

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A Guyanese man was arrested at New York’s JFK Airport for trying to smuggle 20 live finches (Towa Towas ) into the country in his carry-on bag.

Customs agents seized 20 live finches from a bag carried by a passenger arriving from Guyana

According to a news article from the Dailymail.co.uk, the man had arrived from Georgetown, Guyana on March 3, when he was held by police who found he was trying to smuggle the birds.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and agriculture specialists at the airport made the unusual discovery after inspecting the luggage of the Guyanese national.

CBP officers found the finches being held in tube-shaped enclosures.

Pet birds are regulated since they can carry viral and bacterial diseases such as avian influenza, exotic Newcastle disease and psittacosis

According to the Dailymail, all 20 birds were seized and put into quarantine while the man was fined $300 and refused entry into the U.S. before being put on the next plane back to Guyana.

“CBP’s agriculture specialists protect our country every day from pests and diseases, the introduction of an animal or plant borne pest or disease could have a devastating impact on America’s Agricultural industry” said Leon Hayward, Acting Director of CBP’s New York Field Operations.

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