24 Aug 2015

Deadly seeds found in souvenir maracas at Auckland Airport

2:08 pm on 24 August 2015

Border staff have found toxic seeds more poisonous than ricin in a set of souvenir maracas brought to the country from Cuba.

The Ministry for Primary Industries says a couple declared the percussion instruments at Auckland Airport earlier this month.

Staff found their rattle came from red seeds known as crab's eye and rosary pea (Abrus precatorius).

The ministry says just one seed is toxic enough to kill an adult.

Staff took the seeds out of the maracas before giving them back to the couple.