INTERPOL Nabs Ivory Kingpin
INTERPOL’s international public appeal for individuals wanted for environmental crimes has started bearing fruit with the arrest of a fugitive in Zambia. Ben Simasiku, a Zambian national aged 32, had fled from Botswana in 2012 after he and three other suspected illegal ivory traders were arrested in possession of 17 cut pieces of elephant tusks weighing approximately 115 kg. The illegal cache, weighing 115kg in total, was worth approximately US$220,000 according to recent reports of the price of ivory.
He is one of the targets highlighted by INTERPOL’s Operation Infra-Terra (International Fugitive Round Up and Arrest) and featured in a public appeal for information.
Launched on October 6, 2014, INTERPOL’s Operation Infra- Terra brought together investigators from 21 of the participating countries at the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters to directly share information on more than 130 suspects wanted by 36 countries for crimes including illegal fishing, wildlife trafficking, illegal trade and disposal of waste, illegal logging and trading in illicit ivory.
It is the first INTERPOL fugitive operation targeting individuals specifically wanted for crimes concerning the environment.
Details of the wanted persons, their suspected locations and any other potentially identifying information was collated and