A Connecticut man was arrested after police caught him trying to smuggle 34 live finches in plastic hair rollers on a flight from Guyana.
Sky News reports Francis Gurahoo,39, hid the birds in his carryon luggage before he was approached by customs officials at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. Gurahoo planned on selling the birds for people who use them to compete in bird-singing competitions. He told officials he was planning to sell the birds for $3,000 each. The total sale of the finches would have equaled up to over $100,000.
Officials reported that Guyanese finches are used in the competitions because they have better singing voices than their American counterparts. The singing competitions are mostly held in Brooklyn and Queens.
RELATED STORIES: Man Arrested For Attempting To Smuggle Live Orangutan In His Luggage
U.S. Customs warns against smuggling animals from other countries due to the risk of spreading diseases. In the case of the finches, the birds could spread bird flu.
RELATED STORIES: ‘Most Dangerous Bird In The World’ Kills Man At Local Farm
Back in December, a passenger from Guyana was arrested for carrying 70 live finches in hair rollers. Over 200 birds were seized by customs officials in 2018.
Press play to learn more.