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A travel influencer flying from Doha’s Hamad International Airport (DOH) to Perth Airport (PER) got into trouble for bringing an undeclared rose into Australia. The flower was given to her on the Qatar Airways flight and she forgot to declare it.
Travel influencer Lays Laraya was fined over $1,200 when she was accidentally falsified her passenger landing card by saying that she was not bringing any plants into the country. The flower was in violation of Australia’s Biosecurity Act and caused the travel influencer’s passport and phone to be confiscated while her luggage was thoroughly searched.
Ms. Laraya claims that she made honest mistake. The Independent quotes her as saying:
It didn’t pass through my mind that the rose was within the category of those plants that they would be looking for. I checked ‘no’ and that was their accusation in the end.”
Flowers pose a risk to Australia’s ecosystem as they can bring mites, aphids, and invasive species into the island nation. The Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry says that failure to declare goods known to pose a threat to Australia’s biosystem.
The influencer is currently appealing the fine and claiming that other passengers were only warned. The rose was returned to her after it was inspected and the stem was cut off.
Anthony’s Take: If you’ve ever been to Australia, you’ll know how seriously this is taken at the country’s borders. This sounds like a costly, honest mistake.
(Featured Image Credit: Skywardsfreak via Facebook.)
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