KATHMANDU: Law enforcement officials have arrested more than 700 wildlife criminals in course of a year ending in February 2014.
This has become possible because of increased coordination between the newly-established Wildlife Crime Control Bureau and 16 district cells under it, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, national parks, Central Investigation Bureau of the Nepal Police, Nepali Army and local communities. Data made public on the occasion of the first World Wildlife Day in Kathmandu yesterday reveal that law enforcement arrested more than 700 wildlife criminals in the country during the period and brought them to book under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1973. “Thanks to the campaign against wildlife poaching and trade, more than 700 criminals face legal action. At the same time, we face challenges to nab more than 350 wildlife suspects, who are at large,” Director-General at the DNPWC Megh Raj Pandey said.
Some of the arrestees are behind bars while others are in custody. The massive arrest of wildlife criminals makes sense at a time when a report has pointed that the Kathmandu Valley has turned into a major transit point for trade and smuggling of body parts of endangered wild animals.
During the one-year period, police and other stakeholders managed to seize 1,200 grams of tiger bone, two rhino horns, a rhino toe, six pieces of leopard hide, 11 pieces of red panda hide, two guns, a rifle and four bullets from the arrestees.