Smuggling doesn't pay (except in laughs)


The increase in unemployment may have many of you looking for a new career. Good for you. I would, however, steer you away from the smuggling industry. Recent news stories suggest it just doesn't pay. For example:

Last week a woman was arrested in LAX for attempting to smuggle a monkey into the country by pretending she was pregnant. According to CNN, Gypsy Lawson hid the rhesus monkey under her blouse. She was charged with violating the Endangered Species Act and other crimes.

Also last week, a South African zoology student was discovered trying to smuggle 388 rare lizards, frogs, snakes and other crawly creatures out of Madagascar in the lining of his jacket and in his suitcase. He'll spend the next year in jail where he can collect spiders and roaches.

Last month a Czech woman was busted in Australia for concealing three banana plants in her underwear.

In 2006, Myrlene Severe of Haiti, residing in the U.S., was arrested when airport screeners found a human head, with hair and skin intact, in her luggage. She claimed to need the head for her voodoo rituals. reports that a Swedish tourist was jailed in Australia for attempting to smuggle eight infant snakes past customs by hiding them in his pants. Four baby king cobras and four emerald tree boas were found strapped to his legs.

In 2006, a bird of paradise escaped from Robert Cusack's suitcase and took off into the air above the startled customs agents. When they apprehended Cusack, he confessed that he also had two pygmy monkeys hidden in the undershorts he had on.

Carrying on with the bird theme, border guards in Belarus spoiled the attempt of a Ukranian man to smuggle 277 parrots into the country in small cages affixed to his bicycle.

Finally, Vitali Klitschko was busted at the Mexican border when sausages were found instead of the expected contents of what she claimed to be soiled diapers. Kudos to that border inspection team for going above and beyond the call of doo-ty.