Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Notorious Nepalese rhino poacher caught after two years on the run

A notorious Nepalese poacher, Rajkumar Praja, who is alleged to have been implicated in the deaths of 19 rhinos over a six-year period, has been tracked down and caught, reports WWF.

Two years ago Praja fled from Nepal as the police closed in on the criminal gang of which he was the ringleader.

At that time, the Nepal Police, with the support of the Nepalese Army and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, arrested more than a dozen members of his criminal gang operating in the world famous Chitwan National Park, but Praja eluded capture.

He became the subject of an INTERPOL Red Notice – or international arrest warrant – and was finally found in Malaysia in January and extradited to Nepal this week.

He now faces a lengthy jail sentence of 15 years, handed down in absentia, for rhino poaching and trafficking in rhino horns.

Praja’s arrest is another cause for celebration in a country that is leading the way in the fight against wildlife crime.

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