Woman charged with smuggling fish in skirt

Customs officials said Monday they stopped a woman as she arrived Friday in the southern city of Melbourne on a flight from Singapore and found 51 live tropical fish allegedly hidden in a specially designed apron under her skirt.

"During the search customs officers became suspicious after hearing 'flipping' noises coming from the vicinity of her waist," the Australian Customs Service said in a press release. "An examination revealed 15 plastic water-filled bags holding fish allegedly concealed inside a purpose-built apron."

Customs officers will charge the woman once they establish what species the fish are. If convicted of smuggling wildlife, she faces a fine of up to U.S. $83,617 and could also get a prison sentence of up to 10 years.

(Another fantastically thoughtless use of the weasel-word "allegedly". Note that the examination revealed bags of fish. But they were only allegedly concealed in the place they were found.)

(I'll bet that style of skirt really catches on, though.)

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29 Responses:

  1. ammonoid says:

    I saw that on the <lj user="aquaria"> community. I'm dying to know what kind of fish they were. Singapore is one of the really big tropical fish breeding countries so they could be anything. At first I thought she was smuggling tropical fish OUT of Australia, not in.

  2. chuckm says:

    Whatever else, that apron certainly guarantees the woman appears well hung.

  3. adameros says:

    I think "alleged" is used due to our litigous society. If the article says, "she was smuggling live fish," and she is found innocent on some technicality, she could then sue the writer and the publisher for defamation of character. Or she might be able to do it even before the trial. It's "alleged" until she's proven guilty in a court of law.

    • jwz says:

      Look, there's a fucking photo. She had fish. They were under her skirt. There's nothing "alleged" about that part.

      And they didn't "allege" that fish were found on her. Only that they were found under her skirt!

      Whoever wrote this was a moron.

      • crs says:

        Or his/her editor.

      • scottmartin says:

        They were allegedly concealed. Concealed implies intent, which is likely an element of whatever crimes they intend to charge her with.

        • jwz says:

          My nuts are concealed in my pants. There's nothing alleged about it.

          • <true_witness>
            So you say. But "allege" means "to assert without proof or before proving" (http://www.m-w.com definition), so until said nuts are visibly presented as evidence, it remains an allegation, doesn't it?

            The house is white on this side.

            • willyumtx says:

              Yah, the side of the house that I can see appears to be white.

              The only thing I remember from the book. Granted, I didn't read the whole thing. Got bogged down a bit by it all.

          • jope says:

            Who's to say she wasn't carrying them as in-flight snacks? Not particularly plausible, sure, but an even less likely defense if instead applied to your nuts. Umm, if your nuts were contraband, that is.

            • jwz says:


              Yes. She was allegedly comitting a crime. That has not been established. Nor that the search was conducted legally, or whatever else might be relevant to that.

              There is however no question that the fish and/or snacks were concealed under her skirt.

              And all of you seem to be missing the thing that I was pointing out -- that they didn't "allegedify" the presence of the fish, or the fact that a search occurred -- only the location in which the fish were found! (Which is, coincidentally, the only fact corroborated by a photo!) All of you language-mangling lawyer-wannabes claiming "fear of lawsuits" or "multiple sources" as a legitimate reason for allegedly sprinkling every alleged sentence with alleged allegedlys are missing the fact that even playing by your supposed rules, the article was still written stupidly because it's internally inconsistent!

              • jope says:

                Whoa, settle down! It was (mostly) a joke. I don't care how long the flight is -- anyone who claims an intent to eat that many live fish en route still deserves to be locked up. For their own protection. =6

          • beowabbit says:

            Ah, you say you have testicles, and you say you are wearing pants, and you say your testicles are currently inside the pants. However, any editor worth his or her salt is going to demand a second source for that assertion.

          • AHHH! damn you!

            also, GUESS WHAT I SAW ON THE BUS TODAY.

          • jesus_x says:

            I completely agree. North of PIttsburgh, in Erie PA, that was where the pizza delivery dude's head was blown off by the bomb collar after he was forced to rob a bank. Except not. His head was ALLEGEDLY blown off by the bomb, despite 50 cops seeing it and three news cameras broadcasting it LIVE to a million people. When you're caught red-fucking-handed on video for chrissakes, there's no ALLEGING to it, it IS. The only issue is will you be found guilty in a court of law. I know it's due to lawsuits, but even if they did sue, you can SHOW THE TAPE IN COURT as your defense, and note, it's obvious the person DID to that thing, but they merely got off in criminal court for the crime. I was watching the Columbine thin gon CNN too, when I got home early. They still were saying "there are reports of shots being fired" and "there are two alleged gunmen inside the school" as we saw bloody kids falling out of windows and swat teams evacuating the other kids.

            We need someone to not say alleged on the news, get sued, and win before this goes away. It's all because of that whacko Richard Jewel and the alleged Olympic Park bombing.

            And "harassment", it's ha-RASS-ment, no "HAIR-ess-mint". We're not talking about flavored women in line to inherit fortunes.

      • quercus says:

        Michael Jackson is only "allegedly" a perv who sleeps with children.

        The editorial blanket policy for using "allegedly" is only a symptom. The underlying problem is a legal system that would rather sue an accurate report for being defamatory, and is quite capable of finding these alleged fish to actually be stuffed toys in some perverse but beautifully argued legal sense. Perhaps they were migratory fish, and had merely chosen to follow her home to their natural spawning grounds, pausing only to hide in the strangely enticing cave-like pockets of her fashion-leading cybergoth outfit (launching next week at Cyberdog). My client is innnocent, yr'honner.

        You can laugh. But wait until Wacko walks free next week. Then tell me that the legal system can recognise a fish up a skirt when it sees one.

    • mark242 says:

      Yes, but no.

      They're using "allegedly" because they only have one source for their story, and they don't want to do any actual work to follow up and get a second source (which would make the story factual).

  4. ydna says:

    I'll bet that style of skirt really catches on, though.

    I have a friend that's been wearing one like that for years.

  5. sfritz says:

    I want some fish pants!

  6. baconmonkey says:

    the internet has failed me.
    I am completely unable to find the video of the woman who demostrated how to smuggle a large dead fish in her ass.
    I thought about digging up the japanese girl who smuggles a bucket of live eels in her ass, but decided it just wasn't the same.

  7. dossy says:

    Wow, that's awesome. One pouch for your cellphone, one for your PDA, one for your iPod, one for your keys, one for your wallet ...

    • jesus_x says:

      ... and one for your illegally smuggled sea life.

      • gytterberg says:

        Looks more like six to me. I predict that this style of skirt will become more popular in the future as people accrue yet more little gadgets. Assuming the lower pockets can be used for things other than illegal Singaporean fish.

        At least she wasn't smuggling them into Singapore. If they cane you for chewing gum, or whatever the urban semi-myth is, think of what they do to you for having smuggled fish under your clothes.

  8. mcfnord says:

    Finally, I can enjoy my active lifestyle, without leaving my fish at home.

  9. fastfwd says:

    Wow. Wardrobe for fish-smuggling geeks. And I thought my safari vest was cool.