NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Have you seen a man who loaded live giraffes into a Tanzanian military plane for delivery to Qatar? If so Interpol would like to speak with you.
The international police agency Interpol recently began a Most Wanted campaign of suspects who have carried out such environmental crimes as wildlife trafficking, illegal fishing, illegal logging and trading in ivory.
Interpol is asking for the public's help in tracking down nine suspects on that list. Ioannis Kokkinis, an Interpol criminal intelligence officer, said in a statement this week that a new clue can crack open a dormant case.
"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 who have been evading justice for years," Kokkinis said.
Among the nine most wanted is Ahmed Kamran. Interpol says Kamran allegedly paid for the transport of live giraffes and impalas by military plane from Kilimanjaro International Airport to be delivered to Qatar, where African wildlife like cheetahs are popular pets among the country's most affluent residents.
Feisal Mohamed Ali is listed by Interpol as a Most Wanted trafficker of ivory. The police group says that the Kenyan national was once found in possession of 314 pieces of ivory weighing more than 2 tons. Interpol says that Ali is the leader of an ivory smuggling group.
Interpol and the U.N. Environmental Program said in a joint report this year that the illegal wildlife trade and environmental crimes like the illegal timber industry is worth an estimated $70 to $213 billion a year. UNEP has said that the illegal cutting of timber and the poaching of elephants and rhinos are part of a "rapidly escalating environmental crime wave."