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Bird Sock Shock

 

Updated : May 7, 2009

Customs officers in Los Angeles have arrested an alleged smuggler - with 14 Asian songbirds hooked to his socks.

Sony Dong was arrested after a 15-hour flight to Los Angeles from Vietnam.

Police officers had "found bird feathers and droppings on his socks, as well as tail feathers visible under his trousers", according to the Department of Justice.

The birds included three red-whiskered bul-buls - listed as harmful under US law - four magpie robins and six shama thrushes according to the Mirror newspaper.

Customs began a probe before Christmas after finding a trunk full of songbirds allegedly abandoned by 46-year-old Dong at the airport.

After his arrest, Dong told investigators he bought the colourful birds to resell at up to £200 a time. They are now in quarantine.

His alleged accomplice Duc Le was later arrested and found to have 51 Asian songbirds in his apartment. Le, 34 and Dong, who have been charged with illegally importing wildlife, face several years in jail if convicted.

 

 

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