IMAGE: SMUGGLED EGGS
AP
In a photo released by the Australian Customs Service, an official shows the six eggs from endangered birds that were discovered in a man's underwear as he was preparing to fly to Bangkok.
updated 7/17/2006 11:20:57 AM ET 2006-07-17T15:20:57

A man caught with six eggs from endangered species in his underwear as he was preparing to fly to Bangkok was fined 25,000 Australian dollars (US$20,000) Monday by a judge who rejected his claim that he only wanted to surprise his girlfriend.

Wayne Frederick Floyd pleaded guilty in February to exporting regulated native specimens without a permit or exemption, an offense that carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence.

Although Judge Martin Sides called it a commercial venture, he said he didn't mandate jail time because the eggs had come from a collection of birds at Floyd's home and hadn't been taken from the wild.

Floyd was about to board a flight from Sydney to Bangkok, Thailand, last November when a customs officer frisked him and noticed a suspicious bulge around his groin, the New South Wales District Court was told. A strip search revealed six eggs hidden inside a stocking in his underwear.

The judge rejected Floyd's claim that he was trying to take the eggs overseas "to surprise his girlfriend."

Two of the eggs never hatched. The others contained two gang gang cockatoos and two galahs, both listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which includes species facing extinction unless trade in them is controlled. A galah or cockatoo egg can fetch tens of thousands of dollars when sold overseas.

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