Interpol is cracking down on environmental scourges including illegal fishing, wildlife trafficking and trade in illicit ivory. The international police agency launched Operation Infra Terra (International Fugitive Round Up and Arrest) this fall targeting 139 fugitives in 36 countries.
“It is the first INTERPOL fugitive operation targeting individuals specifically wanted for crimes concerning the environment,” the organization announced.
Officials are now looking for the public’s help to find nine suspects during the initial phase of the operation. They include:
Feisal Mohamed Ali, who is the alleged ringleader of an ivory smuggling ring in Kenya.
Adriano Giacobone is wanted for illegal transport and discharge of toxic waste and poisoning water beds.
Ahmed Kamran is suspected of coordinating the illegal smuggling of live animals – giraffes and impalas – from Tanzania to Qatar by airplane in 2010.
Ariel Bustamante Sanchez is accused of illegal fishing in the waters of a national park in Costa Rica in 2008 where he llegedly ordered tuna fishing in the protected waters of the Isla del Coco Marine Conservation Area.
Ben Simasiku is suspected illegal ivory traders and was arrested for unlawful possession of 17 cut pieces of elephant tusks.
Bhekumusa Mawillis Shiba is suspected of killing a rhinoceros on Hlane Game Reserve in Swaziland and removing its horns.
Nicolaas Antonius Cornelis Maria Duindam is wanted for being member of a criminal organization responsible for trafficking wildlife from Brazil.
Sergey Darminov is suspected of being the leader of a criminal group “BPP” which organized illegal crab fishing from 2006-7, which made an illegal profit of more than $450-million (U.S.).
Sudiman Sunoto is accused of illegal logging activities in Indonesia.
“Even the smallest detail, which you might think is insignificant, has the potential to break a case wide open when combined with other evidence the police already have,” Ioannis Kokkinis, Criminal Intelligence Officer with INTERPOL’s Fugitive Investigative Support unit which is coordinating Infra Terra, said in a statement.
“Sometimes all it takes is a fresh pair of eyes to bring new momentum to an investigation and provide the missing clue which will help locate these wanted individuals, some of whom have been evading justice for years,” he added.
This operation builds on the success of previous similar operations, which have so far led to some 600 arrests and positive locations worldwide. Andreas Andreou, Criminal Intelligence Officer with INTERPOL’s Environmental Security unit, said the global fight raises awareness of the dangers posed by these crimes and those who commit them.
“We believe that the capture of these criminals on the run will contribute to the dismantlement of transnational organized crime groups who have turned environmental exploitation into a professional business with lucrative revenues,” Stefano Carvelli, Head of INTERPOL’s Fugitive Investigative Support unit, added.