Eagle smuggler caught

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 14 April, 2008, 12:00am

A 23-year-old man was arrested yesterday as he tried to smuggle an endangered live eagle, wrapped tightly in plastic, into Hong Kong.

Customs officers intercepted the man after he aroused suspicion at the Lok Ma Chau border checkpoint at about 9am because he was using his jacket to cover his left hand.

He was found to be holding the eagle under the jacket. The bird was about 30cm tall. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department confirmed that the eagle was an endangered species.

A customs official said the man had violated ordinances relating to the protection of endangered species, public health and cruelty to animals.

Importing a protected species without permission carries a maximum penalty of HK$100,000 and a year in prison.