Sydney man accused of lizard trafficking

A 23-year-old Sydney man is accused of trying to post five live gidgee skinks and another unidentified lizard overseas in plastic chip tubes.

The reptiles were discovered at a Sydney post office earlier this week when the Department of Environment and Energy intercepted a package destined for Hong Kong as part of an investigation into illicit wildlife trading.

The department says the lizards were inside the chip tubes, wrapped in paper towel and with their legs wrapped in brown paper.

The accused was nabbed outside the post office before being charged with 11 counts of attempting to export a regulated native specimen.

His matter is next due to be mentioned in the NSW District Court on October 2.

The department says he's the second alleged wildlife trafficker to face a NSW court in the past four weeks.

An Australian Border Force spokesman said wildlife smuggling of local animals was a lucrative trade, particularly in Asia.

"This arrest should send a strong message to anyone considering smuggling wildlife, that the ABF and our partner agencies are working closely to detect and prevent the exploitation of native Australian wildlife," the spokesman said.

Australian Associated Press