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Bird-Napper Caught At Kennedy For Smuggling Finches

By Smriti Rao | June 27, 2012 1:00pm

QUEENS — A Guyanese man ruffled some feathers Kennedy airport when authorities found he was trying to smuggle in nine live finches into the country, the Daily News reported.

Marlon Hariram, 30, allegedly had the birds stuffed up his sleeve, the paper said. He was supposedly smuggling them in from Guyana to participate in bird singing contests in Queens parks.

The birds were found inside cardboard toilet paper rolls and concealed in netting in his sleeve, the News said.

The singing Finches are prized by Guyanese immigrants for their velvet voices, the New York Times reported. People bet on which of the tiny birds can sing the best. 

Other people have also been arrested for trying to smuggle birds through Kennedy Airport.

In 2006, hospital worker Terrence McLean was arrested for trying to sneak in 13 live singing Finches into New York to sing for prize money, the Times reported. Those birds were stuffed in hair curlers.

Guyanese law forbids exporting wild birds, the News reported. Hariram was due in court Wednesday.

This is not the first time he's been accused of smuggling birds from Guyana. He was fined earlier in 2005 and 2011 for bringing in live finches, the News said.