Australian customs pushes foreigners on porn

Tourists and business travelers are getting annoyed with the Australian government. Hey, nobody likes airport security and customs employees in any country, but this time, the Aussies have just gone too far. In an attempt to pacify fundamentalist Christians in the country, the authorities decided to target porn.

And hilarity ensued.

According to TechEye, “[S]ince that would not go down well with your average Aussie, they decided only to scare the hell out of foreigners coming into the country.”

Basically, porn is only bad if it’s carried by foreigners. Australian-carried skin flicks are good to go. There’s no indication of whether the fundamentalists weighed in on this. But, it’s safe to assume that it really is the foreigners that make porn bad, not the locals.

So, how can you get busted for toting the collected works of Seka down under? First, you’re asked to ‘fess up on the landing cards. And, they want to know how you’re bringing your nightlife substitute porn into the country: computer, camera or phone. The risks associated with lying are high, TechEye notes: “The risk for a tourist was that if a border patrol sniffed their computer and found boobies they could be deported, or fined on the spot.”This is pretty much where the hilarity kicks in:

According to the Australian Sex Party spokesman Robbie Swan, one case involved a couple on their honeymoon, who thought they had to declare naked iPhone pictures of themselves after reading the incoming passenger card.

This does sound like a pretty awesome fmylife submission … especially because the couple was forced to show the photo while in line with other people.

Unsurprisingly, the government realizes it may need to change the rules, at least because the average foreigner probably doesn’t know how “pornography” is defined under Australian law. So, they either need to show their material to someone in a face-to-face situation or rely on the ol’ Justice Potter Stewart standard, which has served the United States so well … “I know it when I see it.

[Via The Awl, photo by lucyfrench123 via Flickr]

Customs finds snakes and geckos strapped to passenger

The fine folks at Travelocity did a poll a couple of months ago to find out the most annoying type of passenger to be seated next to on an airplane. People with poor hygiene and those who cough or sneeze came out on top, but there’s one category they missed–the guy with reptiles strapped to his body.

Customs officials in Norway have arrested a man who had 14 royal pythons and 10 albino leopard geckos hidden under his clothing. He had rolled up the pythons in socks and put the geckos inside boxes, and then taped them to his chest and legs. The animals had a total value of about $10,000.

While that’s pretty high on the ick scale, the scariest thing is that officials didn’t become suspicious until they did a routine check of his luggage and found a tarantula, at which point they searched him. This amazing video shows him all geared up and ready to fly.

This story begs the question–how often do people get away with this? How often have you sat next to someone covered in creepy crawlies? And how would you know?

Enjoy your flight!


Man stuffs his pants full of birds – tries to pass customs at LAX

Some airport stories are so funny, you’d think we made them up.

Sony Dong was stopped at Los Angeles International airport last Tuesday, when customs officials noticed feathers and bird poop on his socks.

Upon inspection, the officers found more than a dozen songbirds strapped to his legs.

Now, once you get over the thought of flying with your legs covered in bird crap, imagine how bad it must have been for these poor birds.

Three red-whiskered bul-buls, four magpie robins and six shama thrush are now in quarantine, and Mr Dong is locked away, along with an accomplice. The men have been charged with conspiracy in an eight count indictment.

Worst of all, this isn’t even the first time (or the last) that people have tried this – back in February we wrote about a man arrested in Australia with 2 pigeons up his pants.

Good luck card results in deportation of Mexican immigrant

In a tragic case of “serves you right”, a Mexican immigrant arrived at Manchester airport in the UK for what he described to immigration officials as “a brief trip to visit a friend”.

When immigration workers checked his bag, they discovered a card, wishing the man lots of luck with his “new life” in the UK.

After some more interrogation, the man admitted he planned to settle in the UK an eventually fly his family over.


If you plan to lie at the immigration desk (don’t), at least make sure your story can be verified, and don’t carry evidence of your lies in your suitcase.

The 40 year old man was sent back to the United States, since that was his country of departure. Fingers crossed for him that he was here legally, or his troubles will be continuing for some time.

Wacky finds from the New York customs lines

Last week I wrote about some of the stuff US Customs officials found on passengers arriving at Dulles International airport.

Turns out that some of their finds are nothing compared to the insane stuff people try to sneak past the Customs officials at the various New York area airports.

The photo you see above is not of the newest South American peanut bar, but of 7 pounds of the purest Bogota Smack (Heroin). The bars were all packaged perfectly, down to the indentations found on the real candy.

Other finds include $1.2 Million in diamonds from a passenger who claimed he had nothing to declare (bad idea), $600,000 worth of Cocaine in cans of vegetables and even a family who tried to wheel a dead relative through customs to avoid paying the fee for transporting a body.

Of course, the poor agents also find their fair share of downright disgusting stuff, like a dead cat filled with drugs, a frozen monkey head and a suitcase filled with cockroaches.

It would appear that there is no shortage of stupidity at the checkpoint, and while I’m sure some people get lucky and manage to sneak that extra bottle of booze past the watching eyes of the US Customs officials, I’m not convinced I’d take the gamble with drugs or dead animal parts. The penalties involved with these kind of offenses are pretty severe.