The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) has released a list of nine fugitives wanted in connection with environmental crimes involving wildlife trafficking, illegal fishing, and logging. Such a targeting of specific persons is a first, the BBC reports.
The public push to find the suspects grew out of a meeting at Interpol headquarters in France in October attended by representatives of 21 countries, where the nations shared information about suspects thought to be involved involved in crimes such as violation of fishing laws, unlawful possession of elephant tusks, and dealing in wildlife trophies. Such crimes are part of a multi-billion-dollar business in areas such as the sale of ivory and exotic pet smuggling.
Among the suspects, for example, is Ben Simasiku, a Zambian originally arrested for unlawful possession of 17 cut pieces of elephant tusks.
The initiative, Operation Infra Terra, hopes to galvanize citizens to be on the lookout for the nine suspects or to report anything they think might lead authorities to them.
"Even the smallest detail, which you might think is insignificant, has the potential to break a case wide open when combined with other evidence the police already have," Interpol's Ioannis Kokkinis told the BBC.
The full list of suspects and their photos can be found on Interpol's website here, and the agency has a witness contact form here.