A former Irish soldier, Jeffrey Lendrum, has been recently jailed for smuggling a stash of fourteen peregrine falcon eggs from England. The eggs were stashed inside his socks strapped to his body. Lendrum was destined for Dubai, where the sport of falconry has been around for generations and a single egg can sell up to 5,000 pounds (which is an equivalent to $11,000) in the black market. Lendrum was arrested on May 3, when a cleaner saw him behave suspiciously in a business class lounge at the Birmingham International Airport. In his original statement, he lied to the police that he was carrying store-bought chicken eggs for his bad back. But now, he has plead guilty on charges of wildlife smuggling. He was first arrested in 1984 for stealing rare birds' eggs in Zimbabwe, where he was a member of the Rhodesian Special Forces. During that time, he had put his training in use by either descending down a cliff or lowering himself from his helicopter to reach into birds' nests. Thankfully for the falcon eggs, the police kept them warm after confiscating them. Out of the fourteen eggs, eleven had hatched and the chicks had since been released into the wild.
It's amazing to see how other nations of the world are under threat from animal smuggling, and not just exotic places. In this case, it was in England where the eggs of a bird species which happens to be protected under the British law, were being smuggled out of the country. According to Judge Christopher Hodson of Warwick Crown Court, Lendrum's activities did not just hurt the nation but also the planet and its future in some measure. Therefore, Lendrum is sentenced to 30 months behind bars. Also, retired police officer Andy McWilliam who worked the case for the National Wildlife Crime Unit, will be meeting with Lendrum to learn about his tactics. I think this may be a way for the law enforcement to know about how such illegal smuggling of animals functions, and bring it down. Sort of like "it takes a thief to catch a thief."
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