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Officials foil bid to smuggle houbaras into UAE

16 live birds impounded by Ras Al Khaimah immigration inspectors from a pick-up van at border with Oman

Rare Houbara Bustards
Image Credit: NASOUH NAZZAL/Gulf News
Customs officials at the Ras Al Darah border checkpoint have stopped an attempt to smuggle the rare Houbara bustards into the UAE.
Gulf News

Ras Al Khaimah: Immigration inspectors at the Ras Al Darah Border Checkpoint foiled an attempt by an Omani national to smuggle Houbara Bustards into the UAE on Tuesday.

The suspect, driving a pick-up, was arrested, his vehicle impounded and the birds seized. The entire case was referred to the RAK law enforcement authorities for further investigation and for legal measures to be taken.

The Omani pick-up driver assumed that the border station between the UAE and Oman was extremely busy during the Eid Al Adha and UAE National Day holidays and that he would take advantage of the crowded place to smuggle the Houbara birds into the UAE. He thought his vehicle could pass through the border checkpoint without being thoroughly inspected.

The Omani driver believed that the UAE customs inspectors seeing the back of his vehicle empty would not search his vehicle carefully and so he kept the rare birds under his seats in plastic and paper packets.

"His attempt however was foiled, thanks to the careful performance of the customs inspectors at the Ras Al Darah Border Checkpoint," said Ahmad Lahah, who heads the Customs Section at the Ras Al Darah border checkpoint.

Lahah explained that the customs officials suspected a pick-up driven by an Omani national crossing the border point heading into the UAE. The customs officials searched the vehicle carefully and recovered several sealed packets loaded with Al Houbara birds hidden under the driver's seat.

The customs officials searched the vehicle once more and the total official seizure was 16 live Houbara, which were trying to be smuggled into the UAE to be sold for a large profit.

Lahah said that the driver will be interrogated by the RAK Police and other concerned authorities for this violation.

He praised the performance of the customs officials at the border point, and said their adherence to the official crossing procedures and standards for all vehicles crossing the borders was the real reason that the attempt was foiled.

Lahah urged passengers and holidaymakers to stick to the law and spare themselves from legal measures taken against them should they attempt to commit any type of violation while entering or exiting the UAE.