German Smuggler Sentenced in Australia

The exchange rate is always changing. Investors and travelers always keep their eye on the rates because day to day, it can make quite a difference on how much jingle you have in your pocket. For the rest of the world, exchange rates are not something one much notices unless the price of certain goods out of a particular location suddenly go up due to one or another international factors. So I wonder if the fiduciary value of the Australian gecko and skink has skyrocketed in Germany.

Who knew Germany had a market for Australian reptiles?

Apparently Hans Kurt Kubus had an inside track or perhaps had corralled the Australian reptile market. Although he's no Bernie Madoff, nor even Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (notorious Nigerian who attempted to blow up a Detroit-bound jet), Hans Kurt Kubus has a special brand of notoriety. He will go down in the history books as the gentleman caught smuggling 44 live lizards in his underwear (although one might normally not call someone with reptiles in his underwear a gentleman. He is more likely to found in psychological therapy somewhere for zoophilia.) Mr Kubus was caught at the airport. One can only envision an embarrassing moment. Fortunately for the lizards (or perhaps fortunately for Kobus's unmentionables), the reptiles were contained in a package and not running loose on his person. One can only imagine the psychological damage to the lizards.

The world will now remember Hans Kurt Kubus as the German who collects reptiles who was caught red-handed (red-panted?) at Christchurch International Airport last December.

For two counts (trading in exploited species and hunting protected wildlife), Kobus has been jailed for 14 weeks, must pay $3,540 NZ, and will shortly be deported to Germany.

Protection of the species is only one factor. One can only imagine a worst-case scenario of Germany potentially awash in geckos (although climate-impaired for German winters), the kudzu of the lizarding world-- to the detriment of the naturally occurring species. No doubt, Germans are thankful the scourge has been nipped in the bud. Or at least briefly amused.

The lizards have been valued at $2,000 euros each.

Originally Posted by George Hatcher Tuesday, January 26th, 2010