Two men from New Zealand have arrested in Auckland on Sunday, Sept. 19, after they attempted to smuggle in KFC products and cash into the city while it was under lockdown.

The two men, aged 23 and 30, were found by the police in a suspicious-looking vehicle while patrolling the outskirts of the city. The car reportedly did a U-turn and sped away from the scene after spotting law enforcement before pulling over when the police later gave chase, CNN reported.

After searching the car, they found a large quantity of KFC takeout, around 100,000 New Zealand dollars (US$70,000) in cash, as well as empty ounce bags that may or may not be used for illicit gang activities.

The KFC takeout found with the men included three buckets of chicken, ten cups of coleslaw, large fries, and other food products from the restaurant, according to the New York Daily News. This was bought from the city of Hamilton, a city 75 miles south of Auckland.

Auckland’s Alert Level 4 lockdown measures have closed down all food establishments, shops, and businesses that are not considered essential services by the country. The rest of New Zealand is under Alert Level 2, which allows restaurants, cafes, bars, and nightclubs to be open.

While Auckland returned to Alert Level 3 on Tuesday, that only meant that travel will be less restricted when it comes to going to school or work and shopping.

It remains unclear if the men intended to sell the KFC contraband to people inside the Alert Level 4 Auckland, or if it was a ruse to distract police officers from other illegal contraband inside the vehicle.

The men have been charged with violating lockdown protocols, which could give them a six-month sentence or a fine of NZ$4,000 (US$2,800) if they are convicted by the court.

New Zealand’s COVID-19 response has proven effective in curbing the virus, with only 4,800 cases of the virus for the past year and only 27 death overall, according to the BBC.

Two men were nabbed by police officers after attempting to violate COVID-19 protocol by smuggling fast food from KFC into Auckland, which is under lockdown. This is a representational image. Maxime Lebrun/Unsplash.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.