Pakistan foils attempt to smuggle over 75 endangered falcons

Some of the recovered falcons are shown during a press briefing with customs authorities in Karachi on October 17, 2020. (Rizwan Tabassum/AFP)

Pakistani authorities said Saturday they had foiled an attempt to smuggle dozens of endangered falcons worth more than one million dollars out of the country.

Customs officials seized 75 falcons and a houbara bustard at locations around the southern port city of Karachi in what they called an “unprecedented” anti-smuggling operation.

“The birds are listed as rare and endangered species and their trade is strictly banned,” said senior customs officer Mohammad Saqif Saeed.

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Custom officials walk among falcons that were recovered from illegal captivity, kept in a room during a press briefing with customs authorities in Karachi on October 17, 2020. (Rizwan Tabassum/AFP)

Custom officials walk among falcons that were recovered from illegal captivity, kept in a room during a press briefing with customs authorities in Karachi on October 17, 2020. (Rizwan Tabassum/AFP)

He did not identify the species of the birds but estimated their value to be around 200 million rupees (over $1 million) on the black market.

Authorities have arrested two suspects and plan to release the birds into the wild.

An earlier ban on the sport was overturned by Pakistan’s top court.

Two hundred rare falcons were reportedly exported to Qatar from Pakistan earlier this year on special permission.

Read more: Sale of falcon fetches record $170,000 in Saudi Arabia’s annual 45-day auction

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Last Update: Saturday, 17 October 2020 KSA 18:15 - GMT 15:15
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