Raptor smuggler Jeffrey Lendrum receives 3 year custodial sentence

Following yesterday’s blog on serial raptor egg smuggler Jeffrey Lendrum’s guilty plea at Snaresbrook Crown Court (here), he has been sentenced to serve three years and one month in jail.

Press release from UK Border Force (10/1/19):


A man who tried to smuggle 19 rare and endangered bird eggs into the UK strapped to his body has today, 10 January, been jailed for three years and one month.

The smuggling attempt was uncovered by Border Force officers at Heathrow Airport on 26 June 2018 when officers stopped Jeffrey Lendrum after he arrived on a flight from Johannesburg.

Lendrum, 57 and of no fixed UK address, was wearing a heavy jacket which officers thought was unusual due to the very warm weather conditions. When asked whether he had anything to declare, Lendrum stated he had some Fish Eagle and Kestrel eggs strapped to his body. During a full search, he was found to be wearing a body belt concealing 19 bird eggs as well as 2 newly-hatched chicks.

Border Force specialist officers identified that the eggs were protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the import trade for which is controlled by the issue of permits. Officers ensured that both the eggs and the live chicks were kept warm and quickly transported to the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre, managed by the City of London Corporation. The live chicks and the eggs were later moved to a specialist care facility at the International Centre for Birds of Prey.

Lendrum was arrested and the investigation passed to the National Crime Agency (NCA). Lendrum stated during an interview that his intention was to rescue the eggs after he encountered some men chopping down trees containing their nests. However in court, experts stated that a number of the eggs were from birds that nest in cliffs. Their values on the black market ranged from £2,000 to £8,000.

At Snaresbrook Crown Court on Tuesday (8 January) Lendrum, who has previous convictions for similar CITES offences in Canada, Brazil and Africa, pleaded guilty to attempting to import the 19 bird eggs.

Grant Miller, head of the national Border Force CITES team at Heathrow, said:

My officers are experts in their field and, in this case, their vigilance has stopped a prolific wildlife criminal in his tracks. Their intervention also ensured that the birds and eggs received the immediate care and attention that they needed.

Wildlife crime is a global issue and Border Force officers play a crucial role in preventing offenders from moving the products across borders, stripping them of their illegal profits.

We will continue to work closely with enforcement partners such as the NCA to tackle the international illegal wildlife trade which threatens the survival of endangered animals and plants“.

Chris Hill, NCA investigations manager Heathrow, said:

This offence was clearly no accident as Lendrum had gone to great lengths to both source and then attempt to conceal the birds eggs. His claims that he was engaged in an effort to save them from deforestation did not hold water.

Wildlife crime is a cynical business, indulged in by those who have no qualms about the environmental damage they cause as long as there is a profit to be made. This case sends a clear message that we are determined to bring cases like this before the courts“.

The importation of endangered species into the UK is strictly controlled by CITES, which is an international agreement covering more than 35,000 species of animals and plants. The Heathrow-based Border Force CITES team are specialist officers who work across the UK and who are recognised as world leaders in their field.

Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling and trafficking of any kind should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


Well done to all involved, especially the UK Border Force and the National Crime Agency. This is an excellent result.


14 Responses to “Raptor smuggler Jeffrey Lendrum receives 3 year custodial sentence”

  1. 1 Dave Dick
    January 10, 2019 at 3:42 pm

    Sorry, thats not enough…[but very well done to the enforcement team].

  2. 2 Phil Lanczak
    January 10, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    Great result, let’s hope he serves the full sentence, and when released he should have his passport confiscated and a tag fitted to limit his movements, it is blatantly clear that this man is a man who has invested time gleaning the knowledge and skills in tracing and accessing these birds, he will not give up easily!!

  3. January 10, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    Let us hope that my petition to the Scottish Government succeeds and we can have some wildlife criminal offenders have sentences like this or higher. That might reduce the offences somewhat. If anything 3 years is too low.

  4. 5 Fight for Fairness
    January 10, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    Another victory for wildlife and congratulations to the agencies concerned..

  5. 6 BSA
    January 10, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    A good result but slightly dispiriting when compared to the treatment of criminals from the shooting industry. Egg collectors and CITES offenders have always been the target of the system’s most righteous and punitive sentencing because they are seen as a deviant minority and from a social background of no importance. The game industry however is rewarded for criminal activity on a far larger scale with an official blind eye, expensive brood meddling projects and meetings with ministers, all of which rests ultimately on the good old British disease of social deference.

  6. 9 Paul V Irving
    January 10, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    I had hoped for somewhat longer and a ban from entering the UK. Still a victory though, well done whoever in intelligence thought him worth stopping and the folk who did it. Eggs/chicks now in a good place, even if they are involved in brood meddling.

  7. 10 lizzybusy
    January 10, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    The press release doesn’t say whether the chicks survived. I hope they did.

  8. 11 Dylanben
    January 10, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    Good job they didn’t frisk him over like they did Fletcher in an episode of Porridge when he had eggs in his pockets.

  9. 12 Alan
    January 10, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    Punishment nearly fitting the crimes. Here’s a long version: https://www.outsideonline.com/2378786/egg-thief-jeffrey-lendrum-falcon

  10. 13 N Deacon
    January 11, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    It’s an extraordinary story. This guy is intrepid resourceful, reckless, deluded but not too bright. With his history he should be expect to be stopped and searched at every port he passes through. And yet he still blames others for his downfall and makes up fairy tales to justify his bizarre behaviour. It’s just a shame that all that effort could not have been directed into a more productive life rather than this long trajectory of self-destruction. What’s that definition of insanity again? “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Pretty much sums up Mr Lendrum’s wasted life.

  11. 14 Bagpuss11
    January 11, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    Well said BSA!

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