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29 July 2015

On Global Tiger Day, INTERPOL commends member country efforts to protect the species

LYON, France – On the occasion of Global Tiger Day, INTERPOL recognizes the ongoing efforts of the tiger range countries in protecting the endangered creatures, and renewed its commitment to providing support and assistance in combating tiger crime.

INTERPOL’s Project Predator combines the efforts of police, customs and wildlife officials in the Asian countries where wild tigers and other ‘big cats’ such as leopards can still be found. The initiative supports national, regional and international law enforcement efforts to target the illegal poaching and trade in tigers and other Asian big cats by encouraging the use of intelligence, analysis and information management in combating environmental crime.

Under the auspices of Project Predator, INTERPOL’s Operation Paws II (Protection of Asian Wildlife Species) in April and May this year, targeting the criminal networks behind wildlife crime resulted in the seizure of 12 big cat skins, 9.3 tonnes of ivory and 37 rhino horns, almost 2,000 turtles and reptiles, and 282 pangolins and five tonnes of pangolin meat across the 17 participating countries. More than 300 people were arrested, and INTERPOL issued five Purple Notices alerting its 190 member countries to methods of wildlife trafficking used by criminals.

“During the past few years, we have seen unprecedented collaboration between tiger range countries in transnational investigations, information sharing and identification of criminal networks,” said David Higgins, Head of INTERPOL’s Environmental Security unit.

“We believe that stronger communication between enforcement agencies at the national level, combined with greater transnational cooperation, will have a lasting impact on reducing tiger crime,” he concluded.

In this respect, INTERPOL will conduct a specialized training course on intelligence management for criminal analysts from tiger range countries in August in Bangladesh.

The tiger range countries are: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.

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