Another milestone towards curbing wildlife trade in Nepal
In Gorkha district, which is about 160 kilometer west from Kathmandu, Nepal Police arrested Mingur Lama and Dorje Lama with two tiger skins and 53 kilograms of tiger bones on 11 January 2013. They were arrested while they were trying to smuggle the tiger parts to Tibet, China.
Likewise, on 12 January 2013, Nepal Police arrested Dhani Bahadur Tamang and Sukbahadur Tamang at Kakani pass of Nuwakot district and seized five full-size tiger skins and bones of seven tigers from them. The tiger parts were found inside rice bags in a van headed towards the Chinese border passing through Langtang National Park.
Following the 12 January arrests, the authorities carried out an investigation to locate and arrest the main culprit who was running this racket from Kathmandu. Unfortunately, the person absconded before the police raided his house in Kathmandu; the police, however, were able to seize 12 pieces of garments partially made out of tiger and leopard skins, 10 small pieces of tiger and leopard skins, various items made out of ivory, 118 canine teeth, four human skulls, and cash amounting to about NRs. 4 million and 4,800 Chinese Yuan from his house.
Manaslu Conservation Area Office in Gorkha and the District Forest Office of Nuwakot are further investigating the cases. If proved guilty the culprits can be fined NRs. 50,000 to 100,000 or face 5 to 10 years of imprisonment or both.
WWF’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Campaign launched in 2012 calls on governments in different countries to step up actions to put a stop to wildlife crimes. The recent spate of arrests, including the biggest seizure of Shahtoosh, underscores Nepal’s commitment to curb the illegal trade of wildlife and their body parts.