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International wildlife smuggler Kunjok jailed for 7 years

Kathmandu : District Court Rasuwas has sentenced Kunjok Chhiring Tamang, a notorious wildlife smuggler, to seven years in prison.

The district court had fixed Wednesday as the date for sentencing after finding him guilty of wildlife smuggling on Asar 8. A bench of Justice Rajendra Nepal sentenced him to seven years imprisonment and a fine of Rs one lakh.

Langtang Natioanl Park had filed a case against him and demanded 15 years imprisonment. Tamang, who was absconding in a smuggling incident about 16 years ago, was arrested on Asar 11, 2077.

During the royal government, the Nepal Army had arrested five people on Bhadra 16, 2062, including tiger and leopard skins and bones. Kunjok was revealed to be one of the masterminds of the incident. But at that time he was absconding.

In the case of the other accused, the case was disposed of by the Supreme Court through the Langtang National Park Appellate Court. All but one were found guilty. Kunjok’s case was pending as he was absconding.

The other accused in the case, Mingmar Chhiring Tamang, Chhewang Utuk Lama and Risang Lama alias Karsang, have been sentenced by the Supreme Court to seven years in prison and fined Rs one lakh.

Another Balram Shrestha was jailed for five years. Thopten Tamang was acquitted of the charges. As Kunjok was absconding, his case was on hold. Those arrested had given a statement that Kunjok was involved in the incident.

At that time, the army had recovered five pieces of tiger skin, 36 pieces of leopard skin, 238 pieces of ont skin and 113 kilograms of tiger bones. Kunjok Chiring Tamang alias Kunjok Lama, the mastermind of the incident, was arrested by a team of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from Kathmandu and handed over to Langtang National Park on Asar 11.

Article 26 of the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 2029 provides for a fine or imprisonment of 5 to 15 years or both for illegally trading and engaging in wildlife including tigers.

The park had demanded maximum action.

(Source : Kantipur)

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