LAHORE – A Qatari citizen was arrested at Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore for allegedly trying to smuggle nine falcons worth more than Rs50 million, DawnNews reported on Tuesday.

The director general of Punjab wildlife department, Khalid Ghayas Khan, said the suspect Ahmed Hussain Ali Muhammad-ul-Saada had hidden the falcons in a large black bag, he was arrested by a vigilance police squad deployed at the airport.

The wildlife department has issued a challan to Muhammad-ul-Saada in accordance with the Punjab Wildlife Act 1974, said Khan.

Khan said the head of the vigilance squad Deputy Director Gujranwala Abdul Shakoor Manj took action after he received a “secret tip” about the man. The Airport Security Force also assisted the police in arresting the suspect.

The DG assured that the Punjab Wildlife Department will continue to foil plans that endanger wildlife in the province.

Nearly 5,000 to 6,000 falcons are trapped and smuggled out of Pakistan every year and sold to sheikhs in the Middle East.