Poacher Sansar Chand revealed Tibet, Nepal links: CBI
6th Feb., 2006
DELHI/JAIPUR: On Friday, Rajasthan police arrested Tibetan Neema Kampa
from Delhi's Azad Market. Police say every animal pelt that goes out of
India passes through the hands of his gang.
Poacher Sansar Chand, too, had told the Rajasthan Police and the CBI
that the hundreds of leopard and tiger skins he sold to international
dealers, mostly from Nepal, passed through Tibet.
Chand was arrested by Delhi Police on June 30, 2005. His interrogation
revealed the widespread network and the route of the international
wildlife trade. CBI officials say Chand has listed sales of hundreds,
even thousands of big cat skins to at least four Nepalese buyers.
“My Nepalese clients would order the skins on telephone and
there was never any problem in supply when they came to
Delhi,” Chand has confessed.
Chand allegedly said he stored the skins in cloth or leather godowns in
the Walled City. They'd be smuggled through the Indo-Nepal border
inside false cavities of buses or hidden inside consignments of
readymade garments. After Chand named his prominent Nepalese clients,
one of them, Tashi Tshering alias Chhewang, was arrested in Kathmandu
in December. Chhewang was an accomplice of Chand in three cases (in the
seizures made in Khaga, Kanpur and Delhi's Timarpur).
CBI officials say they are in the process of obtaining permission to
either question Chhewang in Kathmandu or obtain his interrogation
report. They are also in the process of transcribing the 31 tapes which
contain Chand's interrogation.
Chand had been questioned over 10 days by CBI sleuths. The four Nepalese buyers who figure in Chand's admissions includes:
Tamang: Sansar said he sold 300 tiger skins, 2,000 leapord skins, 6,000
fox skins and 4,000 cat skins to him. Meetings between the two would
take place in New Delhi's Connaught Place or Majnu Ka Tila.
- Tashi Tshering: Arrested. Sansar claimed to have sold 20 tiger skins, 60 leapord skins and 100 otter skins to him.
- Pema Limi: One of Chand's “biggest clients” since early '90s. Bought 50 tiger skins and 350 otter skins.
- Tenzing Lama: Allegedly bought 100 tiger skins, 70 leopard skins and 100 otter skins from Chand.
officials estimate that Chand, through his network, controlled almost
50 per cent of the trade. From an estimated Rs 5,000 in the '90s,
Sansar was getting Rs 60,000 for a tiger skin prior to his arrest.
Chand will often pass on intelligence to police about his rivals and
eliminate competition. His interrogation indicates he may have been
acting as a middleman for bigger players in Kashmir, Delhi and Nepal.
According to Chand's interrogation records with the Rajasthan police,
the traffic in animal skin is run by Kashmiri and Nepalese traders, for
whom Chand has been a supplier since early '80s.
Jaipur (North) SP Rajeev Sharma said Chand has named several persons in
connection with the trade. “Since we do not have the means to
further investigate his links, we have passed on the information to the
His first major clients were several Kashmiris engaged in the sale of
handicrafts. “They would buy from us and then take the raw
material to Kashmir, where it was used for manufacturing
handicrafts,” he allegedly said. He has named a few,
including a prominent handicrafts exporter based in New Delhi. But the
entry of Nepalese buyers edged out the Kashmiris from the market.
“The Nepalese traders started buying from me around 1988.
Prior to this, they would purchase the stuff from Kashmiris, who, in
turn, would buy from me,” he had said during interrogation.