Nepal | July 07, 2020

Most-wanted wildlife trader arrested

Himalayan News Service
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Nepal Police arrested a kingpin of illegal wild-life trade Kunjok Tshering Tamang, 50, aka Kunjok Lama, who was in the most-wanted list of police.

Tamang was also in the ‘most-wanted’ list of INTERPOL for a long time.

The Central Investigation Bureau arrested Tamang, a resident of Namkha Rural Municipality, Humla, on June 25 from Simaltar in Kathmandu.

Tamang is an absconding convict. He was convicted by the court on 1 September 2005 after five persons, whom Tamang had used as porters, were arrested from Langtang National Park in Rasuwa in possession of five pieces of tiger hide, 36 pieces of leopard hide, 238 pieces of wild goat skin, and 113 kg tiger bones.

The main accused Tamang and two others — Dandup Lama and Nitup Lama — were absconding ever since the court convicted them.

All those arrested, including the three absconders, were sentenced to 15-year jail term and a fine of Rs 100,000 each by Rasuwa District Court. The five convicts had later reached the Supreme Court stating that they were not directly involved in poaching and they were just porters. The SC had then reduced their jail sentence by eight years. All of them have already completed their seven-year jail term.

Superintendent of Police Bel Bahadur Pandey, also the spokesperson for CIB, said that Tamang was linked with various wildlife traders and poachers even after 2005, but remained elusive.

Pandey also informed that the kingpin had also visited countries such as India, China and the US. Many poachers arrested in India and China also were in touch with Kunjok, who was considered the boss of all involved in wildlife poaching and trading. Nepal police had also issued red notice through INTERPOL.

Pandey further said Kunjok was finally arrested with the help of people who were released from jail after they completed their jail term.

Tamang has been handed over to Langtang National Park Office in Dhunche, Rasuwa for necessary action.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 29, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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