A gang who were illegally trapping birds of prey to be sold in the Middle East have been arrested and the birds freed following a police operation in Russia.
Footage obtained by Newsflash of the dramatic raid shows and smashing down the door and arresting the gang, who are all members of the same family from another country.
At least one member of the gang appears to try and escape down the back staircase but was chased by the cops and arrested.
The birds that they had illegally trapped were also caught on the raid on the property located in the Irkutsk Oblast, near the Pribaikalsky National Park.
Police said seven of them already lived in Russia and they have been motivated to start illegally trapping birds of prey after a visit by a relative.
Their nationality was not made public, but the birds were reportedly destined to be sold in the Middle East, where there is high demand both locally and within the region that also serves as a transit hub.
Police also recovered a number of items used to illegally trap birds from the gang’s headquarters. All of those found were listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation.
As well as the man’s family, there were also three acquaintances that were involved in the criminal activities.
The defendants were charged with committing a crime under Part 3 of Article 258.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation relating to trapping of a protected species.
The court has now sentenced the organizer of the group to 8 years in prison.
After the birds were checked to confirm they were in good health, they were released back into the wild.
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