BISHKEK -- A citizen of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) has been arrested at Bishkek's Manas international airport for allegedly attempting to smuggle rare birds out of the country, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.
Airport spokeswoman Jypar Israilova told RFE/RL on November 22 that the suspect was detained on November 21 when checking in for a Bishkek-Dubai flight. She said customs police found four rare saker falcons in his luggage.
The saker falcon
) is a rare species protected by international and Kyrgyz law.
The nobility in the Persian Gulf states uses saker falcons for hunting.
The average price for a saker falcon on the Kyrgyz black market is $10,000-15,000.
Read more in Kyrgyz here