Harare — InterpoL has intensified its co-ordination with Zimbabwe in tracking poaching syndicates in the country.
Last week, Interpol said Zimbabwe was among 18 countries where anti-poaching activities would be stepped up.
Interpol Environmental Crime Programme manager Mr David Higgins said through “Operation Tram”, they would work with national wildlife enforcement authorities, police, customs and specialised units in the 18 countries.
“This operation has again proved that while environmental criminals may cross borders and display high levels of organisation, so too will the international law enforcement community in its efforts to apprehend those criminals,” Mr Higgins said.
The other countries are Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, Georgia, India, Italy, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
Interpol said its investigations would target individuals and companies as well as inspection of facilities like seaports. Increased poaching of tigers, bears and rhinos has been linked to the growth of traditional medicinal markets in Southeast and East Asia, especially Vietnam. Last month the head of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna visited Zimbabwe to look at national efforts to curb illegal rhino hunting.
Cites secretary-general Mr Willem Winjesterkers said he was pleased with Government efforts and commitment to address the problem after Environment and Natural Resources Minister Francis Nhema said the State had prioritised anti-poaching strategies.