20 October 2016
In separate case, members of a 'bird mafia' illegally snaring and exporting Red Book hawks and falcons to Middle East were detained in Buryatia.
The poachers were targeting Peregrine and Saker falcons, Merlins, and other birds. Picture: Ministry of Internal Affairs in Buryatia
Two Syrian citizens were 'caught in the act' of using a dove as bait to catch a Saker Falcon close to the village of Razdolnoye of Ononsky district of TransBaikal region, say law enforcement authorities.
Villagers saw their suspicious behaviour and alerted the authorities. Falcons and other rare birds can fetch up to $400,000 on the black market in Gulf countries where they are used for hunting.
The Syrians are accused of setting free a white dove with a 'catching device' attached in order to trap the falcon that swooped on the bird.
The pair made away in a white Pajero but after a chase were caught in a joint operation by FSB border patrol officers and inspectors from Daursky Nature Reserve.
Two Syrian citizens were 'caught in the act' of using a dove as bait to catch a Saker Falcon close to the village of Razdolnoye of Ononsky district of TransBaikal region.
In the car was a saker falcon, seven live doves, and catching devices. Evidence was found of intent to export the Red Book bird.
In the separate case, four people were detained - one from an unnamed Middle East country - in Buryatia in a joint operation by anti-corruption police and the FSB security service.
Under their operation, captured birds were taken to the city of Irkutsk, where the suspects had rented a private house which served as a hub for shipping to the Middle East.