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Notorious kingpin of a tiger poaching gang operating in Nepal and India arrested

  • Nepal and India are scheduled to sign a milestone agreement for coordinated conservation after elections in India.
- NAYAK PAUDEL, Kathmandu

Apr 9, 2019-

A buffer division team at Dudhwa Tiger Reserve in Uttar Pradesh, India, on Sunday, arrested Fariyad alias Lamboo, the notorious kingpin of a tiger poaching gang that operates in Nepal and India.

According to the reserve, the division following a tip-off about his movements had ambushed Fariyad and his aide Rizwan alias Bengali, who were on their way to Nepal. While the division managed to nab Fariyad,  search continues for Rizwan who managed to escape the ambush.

In its press statement, the reserve said Fariyad was carrying five tiger bones as samples for Nepali buyers. He has been charged with a total of 11 cases—six in India and five in Nepal—for tiger hunting and wildlife poaching.

“Fariyad used to sell the poached animal body parts to Nepali buyers,” the statement reads.

The Special Task Force of Uttar Pradesh, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau of India, Interpol and the Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police had been on the hunt for Fariyad for a long time.

In 2014, Fariyad had surrendered to the Pilibhit District Court in India and was released on bail after serving a year in prison for illegal hunting but following his release, Fariyad had resumed his illegal trade and wildlife hunting.

“Fariyad was on our wanted list. He operates a gang which is active in border areas of Nepal and India,” CIB spokesperson SP Uma Prasad Chaturvedi told the Post. “The gang has been selling wildlife parts poached from India to Nepali buyers. They have also been using Nepal as a transit to enter other parts of India and China.”

According to the reserve, Fariyad had been hiding and operating his gang in the porous Indo-Nepal border. Following his arrest on Sunday, he will now be investigated under judicial custody and the Nepal Police seeks to repatriate him.

“Fariyad has been involved in illegal trade of wildlife parts and poaching in Nepal as well. We will try to repatriate him for investigation,” Chaturvedi added.

Nepal is set to be one of the first countries to meet the target of doubling its wild tiger population by 2022. Last year, the country made headlines after announcing that there are now an estimated 235 wild tigers in the country, nearly doubling the baseline of around 121 tigers in 2009. But wildlife experts have warned that habitat fragmentation, wildlife poaching and illegal trade remain major threats in tiger conservation.

“In the last few years, there has been zero poaching of tigers in Nepal. However, Nepal remains a transit for trafficking of wildlife parts to China,” Rupak Maharjan, assistant investigating officer at the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, told the Post. “There are brokers in Nepal who buy the wildlife parts in Nepal and sell it in China.”

Following increasing threats to endangered wildlife animals such as tigers, elephants and rhinoceros, the governments of Nepal and India, which share more than 1,850km stretch of open border are set to sign a milestone agreement for a coordinated biodiversity conservation.

“An agreement will be signed after the parliamentary election in India,” Man Bahadur Khadka, Director General of Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, told the Post.

Both governments have also launched coordinated efforts to control wildlife poaching and trafficking of animal parts in Suklaphanta National Park in western Nepal that shares border forest area with Krishnapur Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh, India.

Published: 10-04-2019 07:00

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