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Thirteen nations to crack down on criminals who smuggle tiger parts

Tiger trading has become the species' biggest threat.

Umri village india tigersEnlarge
A Royal Bengal tiger splashes into a pond at the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad on April 23, 2010. (Noah SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images)

Tigers are at risk of going extinct, and experts say that  tiger trading presents the biggest threat to the species. Hoping to save the tiger population, police chiefs from 13 nations agreed to crack down on criminals who smuggle tiger parts, BBC News reported.

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The practice of tiger trading  concerns "transnational organized crime, high profits, widespread corruption, money laundering, fraud, counterfeiting and violence," the director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said, according to China.org.

Crime officials from countries with tiger populations attended a two-day seminar in Thailand hosted by the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime. Delegates agreed to endorse Project Predator, which encourages nations to establish National Tiger Crime Task Forces to crack down on the trade, the BBC reported.

Officials said that criminals caught smuggling tiger parts need to receive harsher punishments.

Over the past century, the tiger population in the wild has dropped from 100,000 to 4,000, the BBC said.

Last month, customs officials from Thailand seized four boxes of tiger bones and tiger skins. "I think they were meant for furniture or decoration," the Thailand customs director told Channel NewsAsia.

 


 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/thailand/120215/thirteen-nations-crack-down-criminals-who-smuggle