A passenger flying from Bali in Indonesia to Australia was fined $1,874 – double the cost of the airfare – after a police dog found two McMuffins and a ham croissant, just weeks after another frequent flyer was similarly fined for smuggling a Subway sandwich.
The passenger, who’s name has not been publicly released as of Monday, failed to declare the McDonald’s breakfast prior to arriving at Darwin Airport last week, according to the New York Post.
Fines In Place To Prevent Spread Of Foot And Mouth Disease, Authorities Say
The reason behind the exorbitant fines has to do with the fact that as Australia has recently eradicated foot and mouth disease, and have ramped up efforts to ensure it doesn’t reenter the country by way of undeclared meat products, per government officials.
“This will be the most expensive Maccas meal this passenger ever has,” Australia’s Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt said in a statement Monday.
“This fine is twice the cost of an airfare to Bali, but I have no sympathy for people who choose to disobey Australia’s strict biosecurity measures, and recent detections show you will be caught.”
Don't let this happen to you.
McDonald’s breakfast costs Aussie traveller $2664 after airport dog sniffs out undeclared McMuffins.
This cost him more than twice his flight amid a border crackdown on potential foot and mouth disease carriers.https://t.co/wNMlfHGZrd pic.twitter.com/TLN8v4FTE0
— fashionfirst_au (@FashionFirst_au) August 1, 2022
The K-9 who sniffed out the McDonald’s mean, named Zinta, has been specially trained as a part of Australia’s recent crackdown on imported food, a crackdown that’s seen the government commit nearly $10 million to prosecute the illegal imports and curb the spread of the disease.
“Australia is FMD-free, and we want it to stay that way,” Watt added of the fine. “Zinta was placed at Darwin Airport as part of the Albanese Government’s tough new biosecurity defenses, and it’s excellent to see she is already contributing to keeping the country safe.”
Airports “down under” now have sanitation foot mats, the outlet reports.
Government officials in Australia have been particularly concerned about flights from Indonesia, where cattle are experiencing an outbreak of foot and mouth disease, according to CNN. Such an outbreak could cost Australia’s economy $80 billion.
Second Major Fine After Another Passenger Caught Smuggling Subway Sandwich
It’s the second incident to occur in as many weeks, after The Shade Room reported another airline passenger was fined the same amount for smuggling aboard a Subway sandwich.
Earlier this month, Jessica Lee and her partner ended a vacation in Greece and began the journey back to Australia. But her welcome home included fines totaling 2,664 AUD, or about $1,844, for not checking the ‘chicken’ and ‘lettuce’ boxes on the declarations form.
Following the ordeal, Jessica took to TikTok to share her story in hopes of warning others. Instead, she went viral on the platform with thousands of views. Even Domino Pizza’s account saw the post and tagged Subway with a “help her” message.
Shortly after, a Subway representative contacted Jessica, offering their help. Though they “couldn’t pay the fine,” the company sent her a voucher for sandwiches reflecting the cost of the fine ($1,844). They also gifted Jessica a package of Subway-branded trinkets.