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21 December 2015

New strategy to combat tiger crime welcomed by INTERPOL

LYON, France – A new enforcement strategy to coordinate global efforts in identifying and dismantling the criminal groups behind the poaching, trafficking and trade of endangered wild tigers has been welcomed by INTERPOL as an important step towards protecting and saving this iconic species.

Through the strategy, law enforcement agencies in tiger range countries, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Secretariat (CITES) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have pledged to work more closely together by sharing information, enhancing communication and combining investigative resources to target the criminal networks responsible for decimating Asian big cat populations.

With the illicit trade in tigers and tiger parts often linked to other crimes including corruption, the strategy provides an overview for the direction and focus of investigations and lays a foundation for the institutionalization of intelligence-led operational efforts on the ground in tiger range countries.

INTERPOL Project Predator team leader Luke Bond said: “The collaborative commitment from all agencies and organizations involved in developing the strategy will lead to targeted law enforcement operations which will identify and dismantle the crime networks involved in tiger trafficking.”

The Transnational Enforcement Strategy to Combat Tiger Crime is the result of an INTERPOL-facilitated meeting of enforcement leaders from tiger range countries, members of CITES and NGOs held in Singapore in November.

Project Predator is an INTERPOL initiative to protect and save the world’s last surviving wild tigers and other Asian big cats, including leopards, snow leopards and clouded leopards, by uniting and coordinating the efforts of police, customs and wildlife officials.

Project Predator is primarily funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US Department of State.