ISLAMABAD: Customs staff deputed at New Islamabad International Airport (NIIA) arrested a Dubai-bound Iraqi passenger and recovered 7 falcons from his luggage.
Additional Collector Nisar Ahmad Phularwal while talking to Customs Today said Collector Zulfiqar Ali Chaudhary received credible information about smuggling of falcons on October 14, 2018.
He directed Assistant Collector Farheen Zahra to enhance checking in arrival and departure lounges. During checking of passengers, customs team intercepted an Iraqi passenger Abbas Sadhil Ahmed and recovered seven falcons, which were tactfully concealed in the luggage.
The additional collector said that the Iraqi national will be departed after formalities. She added that the falcons are handed over to Wildlife Department after completion of all legal requirements while the accused has been arrested. The value of falcons is estimated at Rs3.5 million while further investigations are still under way.
The sources in Wildlife Department told Customs Today that without getting NOC from Foreign Ministry, no one can can export rare species. They added that Pakistan cannot issue export permits for falcons as this is not only against the local wildlife protection laws but also in violation of various nature conservation conventions and agreements signed by the country which ban export of rare species.
The sources further said that the Dubai ruler had already been issued a special permit (No: DCP (P&I) – 18/6/2015 – 16 / Falcons / UAE dated Oct 12, 2015) by the foreign ministry to export 25 falcons. She said that the ministry must review its policies regarding rare species, the sources added.