SA egg thief: Pablo Escobar of bird egg smuggling jailed after caught with rare eggs taped to his chest

2019-01-14 17:38

A prolific bird egg smuggler was jailed for three years after he was caught at Heathrow Airport with rare bird eggs strapped to his chest.

Jeffrey Lendrum, 57, pleaded guilty in the Snaresbrook Crown Court to four offences and he was jailed for three years and one month on smuggling charges, the BBC reported.

The smuggler, who once complained that he was vilified as the "Pablo Escobar of egg theft", was stopped at Heathrow Airport in June on arrival from South Africa.

He was found in possession of 19 eggs from hawks, eagles and vultures, and some were hidden in socks. If the eggs hatched, the birds would have fetched £100 000, The Times in the UK reported.

Lendrum claimed that he received the eggs from a man who cut down trees in South Africa, but this was rubbished in court.

"The birds have habitats in different areas, such as cliffside - which makes a nonsense that one particular bird was endangered by tree felling," the Mail Online quoted prosecutor Sean Sullivan as saying.

Lendrum was previously convicted of crimes related to the theft of eggs from the nests of rare birds of prey.

According to the Mail Online, it emerged during court proceedings that he had been convicted in Zimbabwe in 1984, Canada in 2002 and the UK in 2010.

The Northampton Chronicle reported that he had also been sentenced in Brazil in 2015 before he fled when granted bail.

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Read more on:    uk  |  south africa  |  crime  |  animals
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