March 13th, 2018
A notorious wildlife trafficker wanted internationally and on INTERPOL’s radar was arrested in Nepal earlier this month.
Nepalese officials issued an INTERPOL Red Notice in January 2018 to help track and arrest the trafficker, Lodu Dime, 40.
Six weeks later, the Notice triggered the suspect’s detection at New Delhi airport by immigration police during transit to Nepal earlier this month.
INTERPOL’s National Central Bureau in India swiftly alerted their counterparts in Kathmandu about the suspect’s travel plans to Nepal.
The Nepalese police made the arrest on 5 March at Tribhuwan International Airport and brought Dime into custody.
Mr Dime had evaded authorities since authorities seized tiger skins, bones and other animal remains during INTERPOL’s Operation Prey IV in 2013.
It was suspected that the products were intended to be smuggled abroad. During the course of the operation, it was discovered that Dime was continuing his illegal activities from India.
In March 2015, Mr Dime was found guilty in absentia of selling and trafficking remains of endangered animals such as tigers and was sentenced to a five year prison term by an Apellate court in Patan, Nepal.
“This arrest of an internationally wanted fugitive illustrates how INTERPOL’s NCB network is the backbone of international police cooperation,” said INTERPOL’s Executive Director of Police Services, Tim Morris.
INTERPOL has many projects to enable law enforcement officials to destabilize wildlife criminal’s outfits by giving them access to database and secure communication channels.
INTERPOL’s activities to investigate and disrupt wildlife crime networks operating in Asia, including Operation Prey, fall under its Project Predator.
The project encourages countries to work together to track and eliminate illegal activities and networks that pose a threat to wildlife in the Asiatic region.
According to INTERPOL, wildlife crime, such as poaching and the traffic in illegal ivory can lead to the extinction of a species, the loss of biodiversity, and serious damage to ecosystems that support human life.
In a separate operation, Europol – the European equivalent of INTERPOL – arrested nine people in relation to wildlife trafficking. Seven suspected members are under investigation.
According to Europol, members of the outfit bought the animals from different parts of the world and smuggled them into Spain.
The Spanish Guardia Civil were able to successfully halt the activities of a Spanish criminal network involved in trafficking rare animals.
More than 600 reptiles from different parts of the world America, Africa, Asia and Oceania were seized during the operation, with law enforcement from 17 different countries involved in the operation.
By Ramya Ramalingam
Ramya is studying for a Masters in Media Management at Griffith College Dublin. She is passionate about photography and film and has a keen interest in environmental issues.