‘I was fined £950 for holding a rose in an airport

An influencer has been fined after holding a rose in an airport.

Travel influencer Lays Laraya was fined around A$1,878 (around £950) after forgetting to declare a gifted flower from Qatar Airways.

She was fined for falsifying an official document after accidentally saying she had no plants with her when she arrived in Australia.

Ms Laraya said she didn’t want to put the rose in her bag because she was worried she would damage the gift.

As a result, she decided to carry the rose through Perth Airport.

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She told Insider that she had “nothing to hide” after she was fined for violating Australia’s Biosecurity Act.

Known as Skywardsfreak on her private social media channels, Ms Laraya had her passport and phone confiscated by officials who also searched her luggage.

Ms Laraya claims that her failure to declare the flower on her landing card was an honest mistake.

She said: “It didn’t pass through my mind that the rose was within the category of those plants that they would be looking for. I checked ‘no’ and that was their accusation in the end.”

Flowers are a biosecurity risk to Australia because they can carry invasive species, mites, and aphids.

Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry said failure to declare goods known to pose a threat is a serious risk to the nation.

Fines can range from A$100 to A$1,878 which Ms Laraya had to pay.

Following the incident, Ms Laraya had the rose returned to her by officials.

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The rose was returned after it was inspected and the stem had been removed.

Ms Laraya said she is currently trying to appeal her fine on the grounds that other passengers in similar situations were just given a warning rather than a fine.

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