Pakistani authorities seized 74 smuggled falcons belonging to "endangered species" in raids at a posh residential area in the southern port city of Karachi, a customs official said on Saturday (October 17).
At a press conference, the customs collector Mohammad Saqif said the birds were smuggled from Afghanistan and were destined to be transferred to Arab countries.
He said the anti-smuggling organisation of Pakistan's customs successfully conducted two search operations in the Defence Housing Authority area during the night of October 15, which resulted in the recovery of a large number of exotic birds.
The estimated value of the 74 falcons is 200 million rupees ($1.2 million), Saqif added.
The birds belong to endangered species under the International Convention on Illegal Trade on Endangered Species (CITES), said a press release from Pakistani customs.
Custom officials plan to release the birds in their natural habitats after completion of due legal formalities.