Two men were arrested as they attempted to enter New Zealand’s largest city with a car full of Kentucky Fried Chicken, coleslaw, french fries, and around $100,000 in cash under the strict COVID-19 lockdown.
The arrest took place near the Auckland border, where restaurants are closed and takeout orders are not allowed for the past month.
“Officers noticed a suspicious looking vehicle travelling on a gravel road and upon seeing the Police car, the vehicle did a u-turn and sped off trying to evade Police,” a police news release said. Eventually, the vehicle pulled over then, “The vehicle was searched and police located the cash, alongside empty ounce bags and a large amount of takeaways.”
Buckets of chicken, several of coleslaw and fries were photographed on the hood of a police vehicle. For breaching the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act, the two men, ages 23 and 30, who were described as “gang associates,” could face up to 6 months in prison or a $4,000 fine.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern imposed the lockdown in August when ten cases of the coronavirus were discovered in Auckland. Since late August, when the 7-day average of new cases fell to 18 from a high of 66, the restrictions have been lifted.
Only 37% of eligible New Zealanders have been fully vaccinated, whereas 71% have had at least one vaccine dose.