Detectives arrested at the airport in Vladivostok two passengers in a travel bag which was found 14 merlins in the Red Book of Russia, part of the birds died, according to the FSB in the Primorsky Territory.
"Employees of the FSB of Russia in a joint operation with the traffic police detained at the airport of Vladivostok passengers arriving from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. In his bag found eight adults merlins, packed in two boxes from fruit. Birds carefully prepared for shipment: wings rewound cloth , a leather helmet on his head. At the time of detection of five of eight rare birds died. Moreover, the external signs merlin were under the influence of strong tranquilizers, "- said in a statement.
It is noted that on the same day at the airport of Vladivostok was found a bag with six individuals of merlins, packed in three plastic tube. Operatives found that luggage belongs to passengers to check in Vladivostok — Novosibirsk.
"At present, all detected birds were removed and transferred to specialists for medical examination and subsequent rehabilitation. On the revealed facts of the materials submitted in Vladivostok linear control of the Interior Ministry for further transport solutions of a criminal case," — said the FSB.
Kamchatka merlin — one of the largest falcon in the world, with beautiful plumage, from black to white. Rare birds are in great demand in many Arab countries, where they are used for falconry. Poachers caught Kamchatka merlins and send it flying to Moscow to sell them to the Middle East, which has long been popular falconry. The cost of one individual hunting birds here reaches 100-150 thousand dollars.
In Kamchatka, the illegal business has acquired in recent years widespread. According to official figures, for sale in the central regions of Russia and abroad, exported from Kamchatka 20-60 merlins year. But scientists believe that in fact, for sale caught at least twice as birds.