MOSCOW, January 21 (RAPSI) – One Syrian national and two Ukrainians, who are charged with attempted smuggling of eight red-listed gyrfalcons worth 9 million rubles ($135,500), will go on trial in Russia, the Investigative Committee’s press service reports Monday.

A criminal case against the defendants has been already forwarded to prosecutors for indictment approval, the statement reads.

According to investigators, in September 2018, a native of Syria permanently residing in Russia organized a transregional criminal group which included a wedded couple from Ukraine living in the Belgorod Region. In November, at the direction of the gang organizer the spouses received eight red-listed gyrfalcons from a resident of Irkutsk for $1,000. Then they transferred the birds to the Belgorod Region and kept them in a shed in order to take them abroad later.

The accomplices were arrested on November 13 while attempting to transport the rare birds across the Russian-Ukrainian border, investigators stated.