Saudi Arabian prince accused of smuggling in Russia
ASTRAKHAN, December 12 - RAPSI. Saudi Arabian Prince Sultan Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Kabeer has succeeded in reclaiming most of his rare hunting birds after Russian environmentalists demanded their seizure, an Astrakhan law enforcement source told RIA Novosti.
Most of the birds were flown out of Russia early Wednesday morning.
The source said that supervisory and law enforcement authorities found nothing illegal in the transportation of the birds.
The Federal Service for the Supervision of Natural Resources reported earlier that Saudi Arabian Prince Sultan Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Kabeer was accused of smuggling 49 falcons into Russia for hunting purposes, including 16 rare species.
The royal family arrived in Russia on a private plane to take part in a bird exhibition in Kalmykia. A scandal ensued after the service discovered that the prince had smuggled 49 falcons into the country for hunting.
Although the birds were seized, the prince was not detained due to diplomatic immunity. However, the service has notified the Foreign Ministry of the incident. The source said 25 falcons left Russia on a Saudi Arabian plane in the early hours of Wednesday, the rest remain in Kalmykia, their fate unknown at this time.
"There was a lot of confusion with the documents, that's why there was a scandal. And the rest of the birds will likely be allowed out the country as well, only later. Permission for transportation has not been issued yet," the source said.