When police officers searched the car, they discovered three buckets of KFC, 10 tubs of coleslaw and numerous boxes of fries, as well as £51,000 in cash – with takeaway services banned due to lockdown
Two men found with a car boot “full of KFC” have been arrested after attempting to cross the border into a New Zealand city in breach of the country’s strict Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
The pair of suspected gang associates were flagged down as they travelled from Hamilton, about 75 miles south of Auckland, police said.
When officers searched their car, they discovered three buckets of fried chicken, 10 tubs of coleslaw and numerous boxes of fries, as well as £51,000 in cash.
The two men, aged 23 and 30, are due to appear in court and face a fine of more than £2,000 or six months of prison if found guilty of breaking public health rules.
Their arrest came amid a shutdown of Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, that has been in place since 18 August.
Under the level four shutdown restrictions, all restaurants and cafes – including take-away services are closed. A breach of the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act can result in imprisonment for up to six months or a large fine.
After nearly five weeks, Auckland moved out of its highest setting on Monday.
Police said further charges are likely and an investigation is ongoing.
A police spokesperson said officers made the arrest after noticing a suspicious-looking vehicle travelling on the outskirts of the city.
They said: “Upon seeing the police car, the vehicle did a u-turn and sped off trying to evade police.
“The vehicle was searched and police located the cash, alongside empty ounce bags and a large amount of takeaways.”
Last week, a 20-year-old man was charged after he posted a TikTok video showing him leaving Auckland and purchasing a large meal from McDonald’s.
It comes as New Zealand says it may not get back to having no coronavirus cases in the community again as the Delta variant spreads.
New Zealand eliminated Covid-19 last year and had been largely virus-free until the latest outbreak of the Delta variant erupted in August, prompting Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to order a nationwide lockdown.
Ashley Bloomfield, the director general of health told Radio New Zealand: “We may not get back to zero but the important thing is we are going to keep finding any infections and basically continue to contact trace, test and isolate people so that we stop the virus circulating in the community… that’s the aim.”
Bloomfield said the aim now was to try and get on top of the outbreak while also ramping up vaccination rates after a delayed start, with nearly 40% of the population now fully vaccinated.
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