Security forces on 18 October announced the arrest of members of an international criminal group trading in catching red-listed birds of prey of the Falcon family in Buryatia and Irkutsk region. Simultaneously, there was information about the arrest of two Syrian catchers in Transbaikalia.
The data of the interior Ministry and the Investigative Committee on this matter differ somewhat, but those and others are convinced that the birds were caught with the purpose of further sale abroad, particularly in the middle East, where falconry is very popular, and the cost of one bird can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars.
On the website of the UK reported the arrest of four people in Buryatia – three Russians from different regions and one foreigner from the Middle East. Against them criminal case under part 3 of article 258.1 (“Illegal production, keeping, storage, transportation, shipment and selling of especially valuable wild animals belonging to species listed in the Red book of the Russian Federation, committed by an organized group”) of the criminal code .
According to investigators, the detainees mostly in the Northern regions of the Republic – kurumkanskogo, Barguzin and eravninskiy – organized catch, especially valuable species of birds from the family of Falcon such as the peregrine Falcon, Saker Falcon, Gyrfalcon, and others. For hunting they used a special trap to which bait was placed live pigeons, attracting the attention of predators.
Then, the captured birds were transported to Irkutsk, where the members of the organized group had rented a private house that serves as a kind of transshipment base for training and sending birds to the markets of the Middle East.
At the time of the search in the house was discovered 11 Sokolov. Birds were kept in adverse conditions, for several days did not receive food, some of them were simply tied to stools or chocks for paws, the report says.
Criminals were detained by the interior Ministry and Federal security service of the Republic of Buryatia after another of illegal hunting on the road at the entrance to Ulan-Ude. During the search of their car was discovered the red Falcon, which they tried to move to Irkutsk. All detainees taken into custody.
The interior Ministry announced the arrest of the hunters and in the Irkutsk region
At the same time the official representative of the Ministry of internal Affairs of Irina Volk said that four members of a criminal group was arrested in Buryatia and in the Irkutsk region, reports “Interfax”.
They seized 12 falcons, the device for catching and keeping birds, special transport containers, devices for the surveillance of
birds, and videos. Two suspects were arrested, they were charged with, said the Wolf.
According to the interior Ministry, the suspects were caught birds in the Central ecological zone of the Baikal natural territory, the Irkutsk region, Khakassia Republic and the Kamchatka territory, and then smuggled to Tajikistan.
“From there, the predators were sent to the Gulf countries for sale and use in falconry,” he told the Wolf. The cost of one individual of red-listed birds on the black market in the interior Ministry estimated at 100-400 thousand dollars.
In Transbaikalia detained two Syrians
At the same time Goskomsporta in Zabaykalsky Krai reported about the detention in this region, two Syrian citizens who were engaged in illegal catching of endangered Falcon.
The foreigners were arrested on 17 October in Ononsky district. They found one caught Falcon, and seven live pigeons used as bait for two traps, caps and other devices for catching and transporting live birds. Permits for trapping and keeping wild birds in captivity of the Syrians was not.
By assumption hunting service, the detainees were engaged in trapping birds of prey – Gyrfalcon, peregrine Falcon, Saker Falcon, Kestrel, etc. – with a view to their further sale, including abroad for hunting hunting is very popular in the middle East.
“The cost of Falconiformes in the middle East can reach tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is due to the popularity of falconry among the oil sheikhs”, – stated in the message.
In relation to detainees has so far reached only the administrative report under article 8.37 Couph, but they are threatened by criminal prosecution under article 258 (258.1) of the criminal code. The investigation is being conducted with the assistance of employees of regional departments of the FSB and FMS.
This is not the first detected case of illegal trapping of falconwing foreigners on the territory of Baikal region, the report says.