Skulls, skins and horns seized in a Moscow airport
TRAFFIC program of WWF-Russia was officially invited for expertise of seized derivatives on January 14. Experts found 6 skins, 6 skulls and 6 pairs of horns of the Marco Polo’s mountain sheep, included in the Appendix II of CITES, two skulls and two horn pairs of the Markhoor, listed in the Appendix I of CITES, and one skin, one skull and one horn pair of the Siberian Ibex. The passenger provided CITES export permit, which turned out to be faked, and the derivatives were seized.Experts have assessed their price at 113 thousand US dollars. At present, a criminal case is being initiated.
Hunting on Marco Polo’s sheep was closed this year by decision of the President of Tajikistan. As for the Markhor, trophy hunting on it is allowed only in Pakistan, and only on 6 old males and under strict international supervision.
“This is a typical case of trafficking trophies obtained during illegal hunting”, says Alexey Vaisman, TRAFFIC Europe-Russia Senior Officer. “Unfortunately, this is not the first and I’m afraid not the last. However, there haven’t been such big seizures before”.
WWF believes there is a good side to the story: customs officers showed accurate and competent work. Customs competence level in the implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora has substantially increased. “It means our work is rewarded”, says Alexey Vaisman.