Web posted on August 4, 2001 at 9:00:00 AM CET The Independent
Investigation launched into illegal bird import ring
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Investigations have been launched into the import of a considerable number
of protected birds over the past weeks.
Police sources told The Malta Independent that a ring of people were
understood to be involved with the illegal import of birds shot in African
countries. Most of the birds are protected by law.
The sources said investigations began around three weeks ago but
difficulties were encountered. Police said up to 300 birds were imported
Recently, 100 protected birds which had just been imported from Yemen were
discovered by the authorities. And another bag, containing other dead birds,
was abandoned on the conveyor belt at the Malta International Airport after
the people trying to bring it in realised that checks were being carried out
by customs officials.
Police in Malta are working with authorities in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen as
Arabs are also thought to be involved in bringing the birds into the
Meanwhile, sources close to the hunting community said around 800 birds were
brought into the island between two weeks and a week ago.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, described the hunting spree
in Egypt as ?a massacre?. He said the birds included 20 short tooth eagles,
four vultures, eight eagle owls and six bonellis eagles.
The source told The Malta Independent that the birds were imported into
Malta in separate bags. The hunters, he said, did not bring the birds in at
once but in different batches.
The estimated value of the birds was Lm10,000, he said, but the figure could
be even higher.
Administrative Law Enforcement officers, led by police inspector Alex
Miruzzi, are investigating.
Please now go to < http://proaction.tripod.com/malta/ >
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