16 Feb 2010

Three charged over possession of rare geckos

6:54 pm on 16 February 2010

Three men have appeared in court on charges of hunting and possessing endangered New Zealand geckos.

Manfred Bachmann, a German who lives in Uganda, pleaded guilty in the Christchurch District Court on Monday to two charges of possessing the jewelled geckos.

He was found with 16 jewelled geckos in his bag on Sunday - at least nine of which were pregnant.

Bachmann was remanded in custody until March when he will be sentenced.

Two other men, Mexican chef Gustavo Toledo-Albarran and Swiss stockbroker Thomas Price, appeared in court on Tuesday charged with hunting and possessing the geckos, and have been remanded in custody until Wednesday.

The case follows last month's sentencing in Christchurch of a German man Hans Kubus, who was found with 44 geckos and skinks in his underwear. He was jailed for 14 weeks.