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Live crabs surprises customs officers

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/11/2016 Sean Martin

A border official has been surprised after collection of crabs being brought into the country began to kick around.

The Ministry for Primary Industries says a person arriving from Samoa had declared eight crabs in a chilly bin when they reached Auckland Airport this month - but the contents still alarmed a quarantine officer.

"The officer emptied the chilly bin and noticed one of the bundles move," MPI border clearance manager Craig Hughes said.

"Upon opening the wrapping, he found the crabs were bound in twine and were very much alive."

It is forbidden to bring live marine products into New Zealand for consumption.

He said while dead crabs were occasionally brought over the border, live ones were rare - and posed a serious risk.

"The crabs could have been released into New Zealand waterways. They could have harmed local marine life and introduced unwanted diseases," he said.

The ministry says the crustaceans have been destroyed.

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