Four police officers arrested for taking bribes to smuggle birds of prey to the Gulf

Ahram Online , Wednesday 26 Oct 2016

A passenger tried to smuggle 41 peregrine falcons to Bahrain through Cairo airport

A file photo of An Emirati falconer moves a lure to attract a falcon in the Liwa Oasis, southwest of Abu Dhabi, on December 26, 2015 (AFP)

 A Cairo prosecution ordered a four day detention for a police officer and three low ranking officers suspected of taking bribes to smuggle falcons to Bahrain, pending investigation.

According to the prosecution, an Egyptian passenger bribed a police officer in Cairo security directorate and three low ranking police officers working in Cairo international airport to smuggle 41 peregrine falcons to Bahrain to be sold to princes in the Gulf region.

The security forces arrested the passenger and the police officers after a security x-ray machine at Cairo international airport exposed the falcons bundled up and drugged inside his bags.

According to Egypt's environment and wildlife law, Article 28, it is forbidden to trade in wild animals without a permit from the Egyptian environmental affairs agency.

Despite the law, there is an active market for buying and selling live falcons in Egypt.

The value of a peregrine falcon can reach EGP 300,000 in Egypt. It is one of the most popular birds of prey in the country. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCU) the species is not qualified as threatened or near threatened.

Falcons and falcon hunting are popular in annual festivals and competitions held across the Gulf states.

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