A holidaymaker and influencer claims she was charged a massive fee in an Australian airport for carrying a fresh rose stem. But, she says it was the airline who handed her the flower.
Lays Laraya, states she was fined almost £950 (around $1,878 AUD) for falsifying an official document. This is because her passenger landing card said she carried no plants into Australia.
But, Lays noted that the flower was given to her by the cabin crew of her incoming flight. She had not packed any plants herself with a plan to bring them into the nation.
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Lays had not tried to hide the rose and kept it in her hand as he walked through the airport so as not to damage the petals.
But, she was handed the find for violating the Australian Biosecurity Act after screening officials checked her before immigration.
Initially, the traveller, who goes by @skywardsfreak, thought she had been pulled because of her Barbie-inspired outfit. But, unfortunately, that was not the case.
Lays insists she had "nothing to hide" but has her passport and phone confiscated and her bags thoroughly checked. She hadn’t declared the rose because as it was a gift from the airline she simply didn’t think about it.
She told Insider: "It didn’t pass through my mind that the rose was within the category of those plants that they would be looking for. I checked ‘no’ and that was their accusation in the end."
Eventually, the now extremely expensive flower was returned to the influencer after having its stem cut off. Lays is trying to appeal the fine as she claims other passengers with similar rule breaks got off with a warning.
On the website for the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry it states: "Only cut flowers that we verify as free from pests can enter Australia.
"You must declare all flowers and foliage on your incoming passenger card. They will be inspected on arrival at the Australian border. Knowing the scientific or common name of the flowers or foliage will help ensure your goods can be cleared more quickly.
"If live pests are found we will need to identify the pest and may need the flowers to be treated before releasing them to you. You will be responsible for any costs."
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You can bring up to six bouquets, small boxes of flowers or florist packages into Australia, but you have to declare them and allow them to be inspected.
Any falsifications on the passenger card can incur a fine. Other items that must be declared include meat, fish, eggs, seafood, nuts, medicines, wooden objects, animals or animal parts, alcohol, cigarettes, money over $10,000 and grains.
That’s not a comprehensive list, but they are all set out on the passenger form ahead of landing in Australia. Make sure you fill it out accurately!
Perth Airport has been approached for comment.
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