Tiger Range States Agree to Tighter Controls, Increased Cross-Border Cooperation
14 February 2012: At an international seminar on tiger crime, police and customs heads from 13 tiger range countries agreed to tighten controls and improve cross-border cooperation to curb the illegal smuggling of tigers and other critically endangered species. The agreement addressed cross-border action points, opportunities and cooperation strategies.
The Heads of Police and Customs Seminar on Tiger Crime took place from 13-14 February 2012, in Bangkok, Thailand, and was hosted by the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC), and organized by INTERPOL, in cooperation with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Customs Organization (WCO), and with the technical and financial support from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Secretariat and the World Bank.
The Seminar recognized INTERPOL's Project Predator, which aims to make law enforcement agencies more effective and form National Environmental Security Task Forces. Participants also discussed national priorities, challenges, and reviewed best practices.
Yury Fedotov, UNODC Executive Director, highlighted the many elements involved in illegal tiger trade: crime, high profits, widespread corruption, money laundering, fraud, counterfeiting, and violence. John Scanlon, CITES Secretary-General, emphasized that the plight of the tiger involves fighting serious crime, and that current resources to do so are inadequate. Regarding the need to develop a coordinated response to combat tiger crime, Jean-Michel Louboutin, INTERPOL, highlighted that the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore will provide a key platform to fight environmental crimes, beginning in 2014. [CITES Press Release] [Opening Statement by CITES Secretary-General]