NEWS: Falcons Worth Big Money

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About the United Arab Emirates Acknowleging Sky-High Falcon Prices

Commentary by the Union for the Conservation of Raptors, below:

In his March 27, 2006 Reuters article, Mr. Alister Doyle reports about illegal wildlife trade (above).  The Union for the Conservation of Raptors has been sounding the alarm for many years, about how million-dollar falcons are driving today's rampant black market.  U.C.R. calls these falcons "Feathered Cocaine™". Mr. Doyle is the Reuters news bureau 'Environment Correspondent'.

In the article above, a United Arab Emirates official finally acknowledges the sale of one black market falcon which sold for U.S. $200,000.  Since 1991 U.C.R. has reported that every year, many falcons sell for several hundred thousand dollars, while a few sell for more than one million U.S. dollars.

Before this unprecedented U.A.E. disclosure of a U.S. $200,000 falcon, officials representing the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have repeatedly denied U.C.R.'s price reports, and even denied the existence of today's out-of-control black market which they continue to finance and direct.  For example, Dr. Nick Fox who is an official representative of the U.A.E. government, has for many years falsely claimed that his best farm falcons sell for only U.S. $750 . It's contemptible when individuals prevaricate and lie; but it is even more disgraceful when governments dishonor the people they represent, by organizing official positions based upon perjury.

November 19 - 20, 1996:  Dr. Nick Fox also leaked information to Dr. David Ellis about how Fox "personally witnessed" the UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed paying U.S. $200,000 for ONE Altai Gyrfalcon. Dr. Ellis was later informed by a UCR field agent, that nobody is going to be sitting in a corner of the palace, to witness the UAE President paying $200,000 for a falcon, unless he is a party to that transaction. Did Nick Fox sell that $200,000 falcon to Sheikh Khalifa?

Again, the private revelations and confessions of smugglers usually differ from public statements. This was the paradigm moment when Dr. Ellis considered how Dr. Nick Fox is a fraudster, publicly misrepresenting the prices of his falcons as low, while in fact they sell for millions.  It is also unethical when government offiicals like Nick Fox are responsible for creating international falcon trade policies, concurrent to being direct beneficiaries of mega-million dollar trade. This was the moment when members of the scientific community began to view Nick Fox with enormous suspicion. Additional evidence on this website justifies the unprofessional reputations of biologists who are salaried by Middle East falcon smugglers. 

U.C.R. has documented how falcon smugglers publicly represent low prices for their falcons, while privately selling their birds to Arab falconers at high prices (minimum U.S. $20,000 per bird; often $200,000 per bird; occasionally $1,000,000+ per bird).

How to Squirrel Away Tens of Millions?

Mr. Charles Diamond, the Chief Executive of 'Econstat' is responsible for counseling Dr. Nick Fox, in how to manage a vast fortune of cash payments received from the United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayyan.  According to U.C.R.'s information source, Nick Fox has, in the course of their professional relationship, disclosed to Mr. Diamond the true prices for his falcons which continue to sell in the Middle East for "U.S. $20,000 per bird, and up".

Mr. Diamond claims to direct the finances of clients "with over $1,200 billion under management." Politically connected to influential British Members of Parliament, Mr. Diamond is also linked to South African financial circles. 

U.C.R. welcomes John Sellar's statements in the Reuters article, but these revelations by CITES need to be backed up by pragmatic action.   Pelly Amendment trade sanctions, and a moratorium  on Middle East falconry which is driving today's black market, is required to restore and protect today's depleted falcon populations.

Click the hotlink at the top of this page, to read the complete REUTERS story.