The two Czech men who attempted to smuggle native orchids out of New Zealand have avoided jail, but have found themselves saddled with "hefty" fines of $7500 plus court costs.
My first reaction was that the fines are not particularly "hefty", but consider this: One, a cardiologist and university dean, makes $39,000 a year in his native Czechoslovakia and has savings of $9000. The other, a Czech Government environmental protection agency inspector and Orchid society president (can you believe it??) earns $24,000 and has savings of $8000. Remind me not to seek my fortunes in Czechoslovakia.
Though one would assume from their careers that they possess a certain degree of smarts, it turns out that these two arrogant and bumbling idiots are not the brightest light bulbs in the pack:
"Before they arrived in New Zealand they had sent the DoC (Department of Conservation) an e-mail outlining their trip and asking permission to take the orchids. That request was refused and to take the plants after that was a deliberate act. "
No means no, fellas! But it was nice of you to announce your intentions -- the natural world would be much easier to defend if all poachers were as accommodating.