Simple mistake leads to travel blogger's $1900 fine at Aussie airport

Lays Laraya was flying from Dubai into Perth when she was stopped by airport officials.

A travel blogger arriving in Perth was slapped with an almost $2000 fine after stepping off the plane in Australia with a single rose.

Lays Laraya travelled on Qatar Airways from Dubai where she lives and says she was given the flower by the cabin crew — but did not declare it.

Lays said she'd been "visibly" walking around Perth airport with the flower thinking she had "nothing to hide". But plain-clothed officials soon approached her and asked to see her passenger card, which all arrivals in Australia must complete.

 Lays Laraya  travel blogger red rose.
Lays Laraya did not declare a rose she was gifted and was fined almost $2000 at Perth airport. Source: Insider/Youtube

It turns out the avid traveller had not declared the flower in the plant section, but said she didn't know she had to. "If I knew I was doing something wrong willingly, I would have thrown it away before. I had the opportunity," she told Insider.

The traveller reportedly shared photos and videos on her Instagram page after receiving the flower as a "thoughtful gesture", but has since set her account to private. After detailing her mistake online, Lays said she copped some backlash.

Woman fined $1,878 at Perth airport

Australia has some of the strictest biosecurity rules in the world and plants must be declared. But Lays said it "didn't cross my mind" that her rose must be included.

After a 30-minute search of her bags and personal belongings, Lays was hit with a penalty of $1,878 for knowingly providing false or misleading information.

Perth Airport arrivals
The woman was approached at Perth airport and fined. Source: Getty

A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry confirmed "all travellers coming to Australia must be aware of Australia's strict biosecurity requirements and the penalties for not complying with those requirements".

The most anybody can be fined is six penalty units, or $1878, 9 News reported. "Travellers and goods arriving in Australia can introduce exotic pests and diseases," the spokeswoman said.

"This could harm our health, environment and commercial industry, as such the department takes all steps needed to minimise and negate these impacts. The penalty units reflects the risk level to Australia."

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