A nine-year, multinational police operation was conducted with assistance from the Union for the Conservation of Raptors, code-named ‘OPERATION FALCON’. It culminated in 1984 when more than 300 smugglers were arrested, charged, and convicted. Arrests occurred simultaneously in the United States, Canada, Iceland, Greenland, England, France, Finland, Germany, Spain, Egypt, Mexico, and Zimbabwe. Law enforcement officers were promoted and decorated by their governments, and they now work for U.C.R.
During OPERATION FALCON the Saudi Arabian Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz was photographed and caught smuggling Alaskan Gyrfalcons out of the embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C. Prince Bandar, a favorite of the White House, admitted his crimal activities to the U.S. Department of Justice, and personally paid a $150,000 penalty. Biologists ostensibly involved in ‘wildlife conservation’ were also caught smuggling falcons under the cover of ‘scientific research programs’.
OPERATION FALCON successfully chased Middle East-financed falcon smuggling cartels out of North America. But after the breakup of the U.S.S.R. in 1991, this U.S. $300 million dollar black market trade resumed with a vengeance in former Soviet territories. For a royal prince who desires the best falcons, price is no object. And, laws are no obstacle in developing Central Asian countries where corruption reigns supreme.
Learning from past mistakes, today’s Arab smuggling cartels pay lavish fees to an elite community of western biologists in order to create illusory ‘research’ and ‘captive-breeding programs’. These projects are used like 'Trojan Horses' to gain unlimited access to remote and priceless wild falcon populations across ex-Soviet Asia, Europe, and North America ... which are then sold to Arabian royals. Simultaneously, a number of key Foreign Ministers of governments, United Nations officials, and political leaders across the Middle East and Central Asia are corrupted and exploited by the black market cartels.
During OPERATION FALCON, most smuggling was person-to-person. But today’s black market is characterized by government-to-government collusion and high-level corruption. In what appears to be political appeasement, oil producing countries in the Persian Gulf influence the U.S.State Department to provide cover to smugglers, in order to directly facilitate black market trade.