A man flying in from Guyana was arrested in New York at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Monday after being caught smuggling nearly three dozen birds.

Customs agents found the birds stuffed inside hair rollers hidden in Kevin Andre McKenzie’s clothes.

McKenzie says he was offered $3,000 (over 2 million kwacha) to smuggle them into the United States.

He was charged with unlawfully importing the finches.

Investigators say the birds are often entered into so-called “singing contests” in Brooklyn and Queens.

A winning finch can sell for more than $10,000 (over 7 million).

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