11 Aug 2010

Company director sentenced for illegally importing insects

1:50 pm on 11 August 2010

A director of an Auckland-based biocontrol company has been sentenced to community detention and community work for her role in the illegal importation of the European mirid bug.

The director of Zonda Resources Ltd, Terril Marais, was sentenced in the Auckland District Court this week to four months community detention and 120 hours community work for giving false information to an inspector.

MAF Biosecurity says the mirid bug had been brought into the country in packages, bred up into colonies in a laboratory and then sold for whitefly control in commercial glass-houses.

It says a large degree of deception had been involved, with MAF being told at one stage that the bug had been found in Auckland Botanic Gardens.

Last month, two companies were sentenced in the Auckland District Court for the illegal importation and distribution of the bug, widely used in Europe to control whitefly and other greenhouse pests.