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Trophy Smuggler in Net

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 2006/01/11; January 11, 2006.]

New Delhi, Dec. 15: (The Telegraph) - South Asia's most wanted wildlife smuggler Tashi Tsering is now in Nepal police's net.

After years of evading arrest, the man who has several cases in India and abroad hanging against him was caught on Sunday.

He has been taken to Langtang National Park, north of Kathmandu, to be tried by the chief warden there.

Interpol had issued a red-corner notice against Tsering in 2002 on charges of conspiracy and violation of the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act.

He faces a jail term of up to 15 years in Nepal.

Tsering's name came up every time a large wildlife seizure was made in India in recent years.

Wildlife Trust of India vice-president Ashok Kumar said: "After the massive seizure of tiger skins in 1993, it was the 1999 seizure in Ghaziabad that first exposed the Tibetan connection in the wildlife trade. With a massive seizure of otter skins, we began to track the Tibetan link. Otter skins are used extensively as trimmings in the chuba, a ceremonial garment." The consignment was en route to Siliguri.

After the Interpol notice, Tsering went underground and started using a new name, Tsewang. He would come to Delhi often using that name. In September 2005, the CBI issued a red-corner Interpol notice in the name of Tsewang as well.

A recent seizure in Nepal showed his involvement and the wildlife trust's undercover operatives set out on his trail.


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