The publication of an Interpol Red Notice has resulted in the arrest of a wanted wildlife trafficker convicted of attempting to smuggle tiger parts from Nepal to China.
Cross-border cooperation between police in India and Nepal resulted in the detention of 40-year-old Lodu Dime, who was convicted in his absence at a Nepalese court following the seizure of wildlife products during a 2013 Interpol operation, which resulted in the discovery of items including five tiger skins and 114kgs of tiger bones.
Dime fled Nepal in 2013 after the seizure of the animal parts, resulting in local police asking Interpol for help securing his arrest.
After being issued with a fine while on the run, Dime was sentenced to five years behind bars in 2015 following his conviction for attempting to traffic animal parts out of the country.
An Interpol Red Notice was issued for Dime’s arrest in January 2018 at the end of a lengthy investigation into his whereabouts, leading to his arrest at New Delhi airport some six weeks later.
Once Dime was detained, Interpol’s National Central Bureau (NCB) in New Delhi informed the NCB in Kathmandu of the suspect’s intention to travel to Nepal, resulting in his arrest on 5 March at Tribhuwan International Airport.
Commenting on Dime’s detention, Prakash Aryal, Inspector General of Police and Head of NCB in Kathmandu, said: “What we have achieved with the arrest of Lodu Dime is a testament to how police forces in different countries can draw on Interpol resources to share information and coordinate beyond national boundaries to track down fugitives, no matter where they hide.
“The Interpol Red Notice played a critical role in the detection and subsequent arrest of this notorious wildlife criminal, highlighting the power of international police cooperation via Interpol.”
Congratulating the NCBs in Nepal and India on their success, Interpol Executive Director of Police Services Tim Morris said: “This arrest of an internationally wanted fugitive illustrates how Interpol’s NCB network is the backbone of international police cooperation.
“Each of our 192 NCBs serves as a critical gateway to global investigations and data exchange.”
In a separate operation, police in Spain have broken up a major animal trafficking network after seizing more than 600 reptiles that had been brought into the country from the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.
According to a statement from Europol, which provided support for the operation, the criminal gang behind the network had smuggled animals into Spain from countries including the Fiji Islands, Mexico, New Zealand, Oman and South Africa.