6 August, 2015. 12:00
CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | Contact
An international crackdown on exotic wildlife trafficking has landed in Manly Beach this morning, as at least ten officers representing the Federal Bureau of Investigations stormed the headquarters of a well-known Australian swimwear label.
The American bureau, along with Australian and New Zealand authorities, have arrested numerous organised crime identities from Down Under in recent weeks. Vowing to put and end to all animal trafficking operations in the Southern Hemisphere.
The latest bust surrounds an Australian swimwear institution reportedly “bigger than the mafia”.
Their network has for many years hidden in plain sight as an online retailer, but is rumoured to process thousands of animal traffiicking orders each month.
Locals say they could have never imagined that the family-friendly swimwear company would be at the centre of an international syndicate of this scale – With their operations solely based around the smuggling of rare tropical birds.
The iconic swimwear company, known locally as Budgy Smuggler, has ties to a vast community of high-profile Australians, from politicians to professional athletes.
Company CEO, Joel Newport has given comment this morning, following the raids on his offices in Manly Beach.
“This situation is purely a result of our booming popularity in the United States. The FBI have been sent here because we are hindering the financial interests of powerful competitors in the world of swimwear,”
Mr Newport maintains the innocence of his company and his staff, claiming that Budgy Smuggler is simply collateral in a conspiracy created by the board-shorts and cargo pants lobby.
“Sure we are guilty of providing a means to smuggle both budgies, lorikeets and in some cases, a cockatoo. But that is not necessarily illegal,”
“It depends on who is smuggling them and the environment in which they do it. We cannot be held responsible for the criminal behaviour of untidy individuals in international tourist hotspots,”
“At this point, I would urge all of our supporters to continue smuggling Budgys. A nasty Australian winter couldn’t stop us, so don’t think the FBI will be able to.”