KARACHI: Five falcons being imported illegally from Dubai to Karachi were confiscated by the customs authorities at the airport on Sunday.
The importer identified as Lal Mohammed was also arrested.
“The importer didn’t have proper documents to bring the birds,” said deputy director of customs Dr Ali Raza.
According to Mr Raza, falcons are not allowed for import for hunting, but the bird can be brought in for moulting (a natural process during which falcons shed their old feathers and grow new ones) purposes.
“It’s a legal procedure for which the ministry of foreign affairs issues permits. But, in this case, the importer didn’t have any documents, though he had declared the consignment in papers,” he said.
The falcons, he added, would be handed over to the wildlife department soon while the customs had initiated investigations into the case.
Upon contact, the wildlife department officials said they had been informed about the falcon seizure, but were waiting for their handover.
“The customs officials refused to hand over the falcons to us when we asked for it,” said wildlife department official Rasheed Ahmed Khan.
The consignment contained one peregrine and four saker falcon species, he added.
Published in Dawn, January 18th, 2016