Turtle smuggler fined $24,600

A Japanese man who wrapped 24 protected turtles and a lizard inside socks and then tried to post them home to sell on the internet has been fined more $24,000 by a Perth court.

Kazutaka Ogawa, 32, pleaded guilty earlier this month to three offences of exportation and cruelty over the package of native animals he tried to post from Australia to Japan in March 2004.

The West Australian District Court heard Australia Post staff alerted Customs officials at Perth International Airport when they discovered several suspicious packages intended for an address in Japan.

X-rays revealed 24 oblong turtles