Most wanted poachers busted in India & Nepal
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2005:
DELHI, KASARA–The two most notorious living poachers on the
Asian subcontinent were arrested on June 30 and July 20,
respectively, as result of separate investigations.
The Indian Central Bureau of Investigation apprehended Sansar
Chand, 47, after tracing him to his Delhi home by identifying his
newspaper reading habits: a native of Rajasthan, Chand read
Rajasthani papers in a neighborhood where few others did.
First arrested for poaching and wildlife trafficking at age
16, in 1974, when he was found in possession of 676 animal pelts
including those of tigers and leopards, Chand worked with at least
five close relatives. He was reportedly convicted 15 times without
serving any significant sentence, even after he was caught with
28,486 contraband pelts in 1988. Fifty-seven cases are pending
against him in nine Indian states, wrote London Independent Delhi
correspondent Justin Huggler.
Apprehending Chand became an Indian government priority after
he was linked to the annihilation of the tiger population at Sariska
National Park. The loss of tigers, confirmed in November 2004 after
months of suspicion, destroyed the tourism appeal of one of India’s
former top visitor attractions.
The Royal Nepal Army and Royal Chitwan National Park staff
captured eight reputed major rhino horn poachers and traffickers
three weeks later, including Pemba Lama Gurung, a.k.a. Yakche.
Believed to be about 40, Pemba Lama Gurung reportedly confessed to
buying 20 poached rhino horns.
Wildlife Action Group attorney Ravi Sharma Aryal saluted the arrest
as “possibly the biggest catch of its kind in Nepal.”