Five live crabs were found in a woman's suitcase at Belfast International Airport when she was stopped by customs officials.

The crabs had been individually wrapped in tea towels and black bin bags before the Chinese lady concealed the living animals among personal items.

After the crabs were discovered they were handed to officials from the the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and later died.

Maggie Eyden, UK Border Agency Assistant Director for Northern Ireland, told the Irish Examiner: “Certain goods are restricted or banned completely from entering the UK, even if you are traveling from within the European Union.

“These include live animals, endangered species of plants and animals, including souvenirs made from endangered species, certain fur skins and articles made from fur skin.

“Travelers should be aware that if such items are found by our officers they will be seized and people could face substantial fines.”