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Thursday, January 28, 1999 Published at 18:02 GMT


Falcon smuggler becomes legal first

Peregrine falcon numbers are low

A Dutchman who tried to buy 16 peregrine falcons to smuggle out of Scotland has been fined 2,000.

Wilhelmus Enzlin, 53, also had his car impounded and 4,000 in cash seized.

Enzlin was arrested in a complex covert international police operation involving Scottish and Dutch specialists in wildlife crime.

His was the first prosecution to be brought in Scotland under new legislation controlling the trade in endangered species.

Enzlin had pleaded guilty to trying to buy the falcons at an address in Brora, and at Aviemore between February and May last year.

At Inverness Sheriff Court, the Crown deserted proceedings against two other accused.

Case deterrent

RSPB Senior Investigations Officer David Dick said: "Every year peregrine nests in Scotland are robbed of eggs and young to supply the illegal falconry trade.

"A successful prosecution is an important deterrent to those involved and a tremendous boost for the many people who protect peregrine sites throughout Scotland.

"It should be remembered that peregrines are still uncommon birds internationally and although they have recovered from pesticide poisoning in most parts of Scotland, they are actually declining in some areas."

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02 Jan 99|UK
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