Passenger gets eye-watering $1,800 fine for carrying McMuffins during trip to Australia

The country is on high alert after an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease in Indonesia



Photo: McDonalds UAE, Image used for illustrative purposes only
Photo: McDonalds UAE, Image used for illustrative purposes only

By AFP

Published: Mon 1 Aug 2022, 9:15 AM

Last updated: Mon 1 Aug 2022, 9:16 AM

An Indonesian traveller arriving in Australia has been hit with an AU$2,664 (US$1,862) fine, after border guards detected two McMuffins and a ham croissant secretly squirrelled away in his backpack.

Biosecurity detector dog Zinta sniffed out the egg-and-meat contraband at Darwin Airport, prompting an eye-watering fine, officials said on Monday.

"This will be the most expensive Maccas [McDonald's] meal this passenger ever has," said Australian agriculture minister Murray Watt.

Australia has hyper-stringent biosecurity laws designed to protect the country's large agriculture industry from imported pests and diseases.

They are currently on high alert after an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease in Indonesia, with all meat imports from that country undergoing screening. The disease poses no risk to humans but is a severe, highly contagious viral disease of livestock.

At AU$2,664 (US$1,862), the fine was equivalent to the cost of 567 sausages and egg McMuffins in Sydney, or even several return flights to Bali.

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