Thursday, December 24, 2009

Something fishy about Malaysian smuggler

From the Daily News:

The supposed good luck powers of the bony-tongued Arowana fish didn't work for a Queens man who was charged with smuggling the creatures into New York in his suitcase.

Chee Chaw packed his suitcase with 16 of the rare, valuable fish in water-filled plastic bags when he left Malaysia for Kennedy Airport last April, court papers said.

Authorities say Chaw, 47, bought the fish - which fetch thousands of dollars on the black market - while visiting relatives.

His suitcase got misplaced during a transfer in Hong Kong and arrived in New York on a later Cathay Pacific Flight. Chaw arranged to have it delivered to his home in Elmhurst.

A routine check of the bag revealed the unusual contents - and the feds dispatched a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent dressed up like a UPS worker to Chaw's house.

After Chaw confirmed the bag was his, Agent Paul Chapelle told him the fish found inside cannot be imported without a permit.

Agents recovered four more Arowanas during a search of the alleged smuggler's home. Several of the original 16 died in federal custody.


Anonymous said...

And we're already faced with the dilemna of eliminating deadly predatory Chinese snakefish that have been dumped into our waterways.

Things are so bad that there are signs on the Harlem Meer in Central Park describing the fish and warning fishermen not to throw them back if caught, but to bring them to the park office for definite identification.

I suppose the fish swam up 5th Avenue and jumped into the lake.

Anonymous said...

Smells fishy to me?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps he was working for scale? A Pisces? Everyone specializes in something. He must've been a master baiter!