Interpol’s environment crime wing has issued a red corner notice against international wildlife smuggler Jaiy Tamang alias Passang Limi following a request by the Madhya Pradesh wildlife department in a case pertaining to the smuggling of pangolin and tiger bones, said a senior forest official. Tamang originally hails from Lhasa, Tibet according to the red corner notice.

In September 2014, pangolin poaching came to light in Balaghat and Chhindwara districts, following which the state forest department constituted a special task force (STF) to investigate the matter and bust the racket. The STF started unravelling the poaching network, with 113 people arrested across ten states, busting the multi-layered racket which sources pangolins and tiger bones from MP and smuggles them into China through the North East and Myanmar.

Ritesh Sirothia, officer in-charge STF, who carried out the entire operation, told HT that they arrested the 42-year-old Tamang from Delhi in October 2015. “We brought him here and took him on remand. But he managed to make bail in November 2015, following which he went absconding. In February, the high court rejected his bail. As he operates in the entire South Asia, especially Nepal, Tibet, China and Myanmar, we were not sure of his whereabouts. So we sent a request to the Interpol that a red corner notice be issued against him. Two days back we got a communiqué from Interpol about the notice they had issued against Tamang,” he said, adding, Interpol had contacted the state government in January this year and sought details about Tamang.

Sirothia said it is perhaps for the first time a red corner notice has been issued against an international wildlife smuggler and trafficker.

Pangolin also called scaly anteater (Manis crassicaudata) is listed in the schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, according it the highest conservation status. It is killed by poachers as it has a high demand in countries like China, where its body parts are valued as medicine and aphrodisiacs.