Dubai: Alert Dubai Customs inspectors have foiled an attempt to smuggle 64 live falcons into the country.
According to Dubai Customs, the falcons, which were hidden in a vegetable truck, were seized at the Hatta border crossing.
The shipment, which violates the provisions of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), did not have any supporting or health documents under the Federal Law Number 11/2002.
Dubai Customs said that an inspector suspected that there was something amiss in the vegetable truck from the driver’s behaviour.
When the truck was stopped, 64 falcons were found concealed behind boxes of vegetables.
“The falcons were hidden behind the vegetables and covered with wooden boards. But the inspectors were able to detect and seize them. Falcons are typically used to assist in hunting birds,” Dubai Customs said.
The seized falcons were handed over to the veterinary quarantine department of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment at the border crossing. They will be dealt with in keeping with international treaties.
“Dubai Customs spares no effort to protect all endangered animals and plants from the hazards of such rogue activities,” said Humaid Al Rasheed, Director of Land Customs Centres Management at Dubai Customs.
“To cross the border, all animals have to have official documents; otherwise, they will be handed over to the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment for further legal procedures.”
Dubai Customs’ inspectors receive intensive training on how to detect and thwart different smuggling attempts, the official said.
Updated lists of endangered species are provided regularly to the inspectors.
Official statistics show that 44 different seizures have been made at the Hatta border crossing during the first half of this year.
Hamad Kajour, Director of Hatta Border Crossing, said the centre dealt with 23,892 trucks loaded with different types of goods in the first half of 2021. This translates to around 150 trucks daily.
“The crossing is the first touch point for Dubai. In line with the Dubai Government vision to provide the best services to travelers, we provide high quality services and security. We provide all facilities to ensure streamlined vehicle and passenger traffic, while securing the borders and protecting society from any type of illegitimate trade,” said Kajour.