Smuggler arrested in Nepal with large cache of banned animal partsSouce:Xinhua Publish By Thomas Whittle Updated 03/06/2013 8:56 am in World / no comments
KATHMANDU, June 2 — Police in far western mountain district of Darchula in Nepal have arrested a smuggler and his two porters with a large cache of animal parts of endangered species, Deputy Superintendent of Police Kuber Kadayat told Xinhua on Sunday.
“There were ten people with tiger skin, leopard skin, ivories, tiger teeth, pangolin scale, musk of musk deer, bones of tiger and leopard. They opened fire at the five-member police patrol team and the police returned fire on Saturday night,” Kadayat said by telephone.
These items are banned by Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Local people estimated the animal parts to be worth half a million U.S. dollars.
The police have arrested Chawang Dundup Tamang of Humla, who has sustained bullet injuries in his stomach in the firing with the police. “There are many things to be clear, his friends also might have sustained injuries,” Kadayat said.
Police are trying to take him to Kathmandu for treatment. Police suspect he is one of the smugglers and other two are his porters. Other smugglers and porters have fled and the police are trying to round up them.
The contraband items were hidden in a cave.
The porters were being paid 15,000 rupees each (around 167 U.S. dollars) for transporting the contraband to Taklakot in Tibet, China, about three days walk from Darchula, according to Kadayat. This district, around 800 km away from Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, shares its borders in the west with India and in the north with Tibet.
With 23 open border transit points between Nepal and India in the far west, six in Kailali, five in Kanchanpur, three in Dadeldhura, five in Baitadi, and four in Darchula, people can effortlessly enter and exit the two countries. This has been the biggest benefit for poachers and smugglers active in both countries.
Due to weak security system in Nepal, smugglers easily enter the country from any border transit from Kanchanpur to Darchula. Most smugglers choose nighttime to enter Nepal from those transit points.
Annually, international wildlife trade is estimated to be worth billions of dollars. The trade is diverse, ranging from live animals and plants to a vast array of wildlife products derived from them.