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May 30, 2017

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Australia alleges smuggler had bird eggs in pants at Sydney int'l airport

SYDNEY -- Australians call tiny swimming trunks "budgie smugglers," but the term might have new meaning after customs officials at Sydney's airport said Wednesday that they found 16 wild-bird eggs in the crotch of a passenger's pants.

The 39-year-old Czech man arrived Tuesday on a flight from Dubai when customs officials selected him for a baggage examination, Australian Customs and Border Protection Service said in a statement.

"Officers conducted a frisk search of the man and allegedly found 16 small eggs concealed in his groin area," the statement said.

There was no word on whether it was budgies — small parrots also known as budgerigars — that were allegedly smuggled. The species has yet to be identified.

The man, whose name has not been released, was to appear in a Sydney court on Wednesday charged under environmental protection laws with attempting to import regulated live specimens without a permit. The charge carries maximum penalties of 10 years in prison and a fine of 170,000 Australian dollars (US$157,000).

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