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Two Syrians detained 'illegally trapping rare Saker Falcons' in TransBaikal region

By Olga Gertcyk
20 October 2016

In separate case, members of a 'bird mafia' illegally snaring and exporting Red Book hawks and falcons to Middle East were detained in Buryatia.

The poachers were targeting Peregrine and Saker falcons, Merlins, and other birds. Picture: Ministry of Internal Affairs in Buryatia

Two Syrian citizens were 'caught in the act' of using a dove as bait to catch a Saker Falcon close to the village of Razdolnoye of Ononsky district of TransBaikal region, say law enforcement authorities. 

Villagers saw their suspicious behaviour and alerted the authorities. Falcons and other rare birds can fetch up to $400,000 on the black market in Gulf countries where they are used for hunting. 

The Syrians are accused of setting free a white dove with a 'catching device' attached in order to trap the falcon that swooped on the bird. 

The pair made away in a white Pajero but after a chase were caught in a joint operation by FSB border patrol officers and inspectors from Daursky Nature Reserve.

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Falcon


Poacher's car


Traps

Two Syrian citizens were 'caught in the act' of using a dove as bait to catch a Saker Falcon close to the village of Razdolnoye of Ononsky district of TransBaikal region. Pictures: Daursky Nature Reserve 

In the car was a saker falcon, seven live doves, and catching devices. Evidence was found of intent to export the Red Book bird. 

In the separate case, four people were detained - one from an unnamed Middle East country - in Buryatia in a joint operation by anti-corruption police and the FSB security service. 

Under their operation, captured birds were taken to the city of Irkutsk, where the suspects had rented a private house which served as a hub for shipping to the Middle East.

They exported the birds first to Tajikistan, on an illicit trading route that led to the Gulf

Falcons


Falcons


Falcons


Tools

They were carrying 12 rare falcons in Russia's Red Book, as well as devices for catching and keeping birds, and special boxes for shipping them. Pictures: Ministry of Internal Affairs in Buryatia

The detainees were alleged to be part of an 'organised criminal group' catching  rare birds across a large swathe of Siberia including the Baikal area in Irkutsk region, Khakassia, and the Kamchatka peninsula. 

They were described as the four 'most active' members of the group. They were carrying 12 rare falcons in Russia's Red Book, as well as devices for catching and keeping birds, and special boxes for shipping them.

There were devices for tracking birds and footage proving the illegal activity of the suspects, said an official source. The poachers were targeting Peregrine and Saker falcons, Merlins, and other birds. 

'Bird mafia' caught red-handed in two neigboring regions of Siberia. Picture: The Siberian Times

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Comments (1)

Bastards! Leave the falcons alone!
Edward, Arizona/USA
30/10/2016 02:14
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