INTERPOL releases new ‘most wanted’ list

LONDON: The international police agency, Interpol, has started its first Most Wanted list for suspects who commit various sorts of environmental crimes.

The Most Wanted list of environmental criminals, dubbed Operation INFRA Terra, has so far targeted nine fugitives for crimes including illegal discharge of toxic waste, illegal logging, ivory smuggling, and trafficking live animals, Interpol said on its website.

The suspects contributed to “transnational organized crime groups [that] have turned environmental exploitation into a professional business with lucrative revenues,” Interpol said.

The men hail from different parts of the world — there are three Europeans, three Africans, two Asians, and a Latin American — and operate across national borders.

One fugitive, Ahmed Kamran, has been charged with smuggling over 100 live animals, including giraffes and impalas, on a military plane from Kilimanjaro International Airport in Tanzania to be delivered to Qatar.

Another, Sergey Darminov, is suspected of operating an illegal crab-fishing scheme in Russia that netted USD 450 million.

Adriano Giacobone is also wanted over criminal allegations including illegal transport and discharge of toxic waste, poisoning water beds, kidnapping, illegal detention, carrying firearms and aggravated theft.

Operation INFRA (International Fugitive Round up & Arrest) Terra started as an effort to seek public assistance in tracking down suspects committing environmental crimes, said the international policing organization.

“Until recently, environmental offences were not even considered a crime by many countries, but as the years have passed, they have realized that environmental crime is a serious internal threat to our societies,” said Andreas Andreou, a criminal intelligence officer with Interpol’s environmental security unit.

A 2014 Interpol report said transnational organized environmental crime is estimated to be worth USD 70 -213 billion annually.

 

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