The Real Reason 2 New Zealand Men Were Arrested For Smuggling KFC

Cities worldwide have had their fair share of wild lockdown stories since the pandemic began. But the latest one from Auckland, New Zealand is certainly one of the most surprising. While restrictions in most North American cities loosened over the summer, many places in the southern hemisphere were still on high alert. The city of Auckland has been in stage four lockdown — the strictest lockdown level — for the past five weeks to slow down the increase in cases, according to The Guardian.

CNN reports that restaurants remained closed throughout the Auckland lockdown, not even offering takeout. By necessity, most people took to their kitchens to prepare meals at home. However, for others, fried chicken was too tempting. The Auckland police told the BBC that they stopped a dubious-looking car on the back roads of the city after it made a quick U-turn to avoid them. Of course, the driver had plenty to explain regarding his attempted escape, but the situation got stranger when the police opened the trunk of the car and found a large amount of KFC.

What was the loot?

Since New Zealand's level four lockdown measures strictly prohibit takeout, the police had immediate grounds to be suspicious of the duo in the car. However, aside from enough coleslaw, fries, and fried chicken to feed a hungry group, BBC reports that the men were also carrying $100,000 NZD (equivalent to roughly $70,000 USD). To top it all off, their stash included empty ounce bags, suggesting a gang association, according to CNN. BBC hypothesized that the food might have been intended to mislead the police in case the men were stopped.

An official arrest has not yet been made, but there are certainly a few elements worth investigating. CNN notes that as per New Zealand's Covid-19 Public Health Response Act, the two men face possible jail time as well as a hefty fine of up to $4,000 NZD (about $2,800 USD) for their irresponsible behavior. Whether they were genuinely just trying to get their KFC fix or planning something more illicit has yet to be understood. It wouldn't be the first time that a need for fast food landed a New Zealander on the wrong side of the law. The BBC notes that recently, a TikTok video showing a man purchasing "a large amount" of McDonald's led to a charge. Until the lockdown ends, anyone with insatiable fast food cravings should steer clear of trouble and try their hand at making their favorite snacks at home.