As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Prison terms and hefty fines for criminal gang smuggling birds of prey

Black kites linked the UK to a European-wide trade in wild-caught birds with forged papers

Following a lengthy trial at Ghent in Belgium, five people have been convicted of being part of a criminal organisation engaged in forging and falsifying permits and documents required to possess and trade in endangered species and for possessing rare birds of prey, reports the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU). 

The investigation by the Belgian Federal Police, which lasted in excess of six years, resulted in enforcement action in five countries, including search warrants being executed in the UK by the police and NWCU. 

The four men and one woman were part of a criminal gang that were acquiring some of the rarest birds of prey from the wild and then passing them off as having been bred in captivity by using falsified and forged permits.

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