Woman faces fine, jail after smuggling in exotic fish

BRISBANE (AAP): A 50-year-old woman is facing a huge fine and a possible 10 years jail after customs officers at Brisbane International Airport found three exotic fish in her luggage.

The fish were small, live and swimming around in a cold cream pot concealed in her luggage, customs officers allege.

The woman, who arrived on a flight from Taiwan, has been charged with attempting to import live fish, hidden in a cosmetic jar, and has been released to appear in court at a later date.

The maximum penalty for smuggling wildlife is a fine of up to $110,000 and imprisonment for up to 10 years, at least in theory.

Australian Quarantine and Inspection Services spokesman Carson Creagh said today the passenger did not reveal the origin of the fish.

"Quarantine officers couldn't be certain they were free from diseases or parasites that could have devastated our native wildlife," Mr Creagh said.

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