Two gang members receive suspended sentence for gyrfalcon poaching
MOSCOW, June 20 (RAPSI) – Two gang members have received a 2.5-year suspended sentence each for poaching and unlawful capture of Red Book species, gyrfalcons, the Russian Investigative Committee’s press service reports Wednesday.
The court found that from June till November 2016, an organized criminal group caught 17 wild gyrfalcons in the Olyutor District of Kamchatka. Birds, listed in the Red Book of endangered species, were then kept in captivity and later released into their natural habitat when the group members were busted.
According to investigators, actions of the gang caused damage valued at more than 73 million rubles ($1.3 million) to the Russian Federation.
On Tuesday, the gang leader was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison. The mastermind of the crime has been hiding in Crimea until July 2017. Later, he was apprehended and transported to the Kamchatka Region. He pleaded guilty. According to investigators, he provided the gang with poaching equipment and managed two groups through satellite uplink while remaining outside the region.
Up to date, the court convicted and sentenced 17 members of the criminal group. One more defendant left Russia and was put on the international wanted list.