Interpol launch global operation to find world's most wanted environmental criminals

Credit: Interpol

An international police agency has launched an operation to apprehend the world's most dangerous international environmental criminals.

Nine suspects, whose crimes range from illegal crab fishing to smuggling 'a small zoo' out of Tanzania and illegal toxic waste dumping, have been featured on Interpol's first-ever 'Most Wanted' appeal to help catch criminals accused of environmental crimes.

Interpol is hoping that the global operation - codenamed Operation Infra-Red - will bring the crimes, and the people who perpetrated them, to the attention of international law enforcement.

According to a joint United Nations Environment Programme and Interpol report, the illegal wildlife trade across the globe is worth $70-123 billion annually.

Andreas Andreou, Criminal Intelligence Officer with Interpol's Environmental Security Unit said:

We are pleased that our member countries are coming together through Infra Terra to fight environmental crimes, as well as to raise global awareness of the very real dangers posed by these types of crimes and the individuals who perpetrate them.

Andreas Andreou

The nine fugitives are: Adriano Giacobone; Ahmed Kamran; Ariel Bustamante Sanchez; Ben Simasiku; Bhekumusa Mawillis Shiba; Feisal Mohamed Ali; Nicolaas Antonius Cornelis Maria Duindam; Sergey Darminov; Sudiman Sunoto.

Adriano Giacobone, 57. Credit: Interpol

Among them is Adriano Giacobone, 57, wanted in his homeland of Italy for illegal transport and dumping of toxic waste, kidnapping, fraud and violence against a police officer - amongst a string of other offences.

Sergey Darminov, 50. Credit: Interpol

Sergey Darminov, 50, is wanted for illegal crab fishing in Russia that netted him over $450m.

Amhed Kamran, 29. Credit: Interpol

'Noah's Ark in reverse'

Ahmed Kamran, 29, is wanted in Tanzania for 'unlawful exportation of government trophies'. In what some have called 'Noah's Ark in reverse,' Mr Kamran is suspected of co-ordinating the illegal smuggling of private zoo. live animals including four live giraffes, impalas, 68 Thomson's gazelle and several other species.

According to the Guardian, the 2010 smuggling operation was "fraught and dramatic" with three giraffes dying en-route to Tanzania's Kilimanjaro airport and having to be replaced. Along with three accomplices, Kamran is accused of organising for a military aircraft to fly the illegal cargo of animals worth around $100,000 to Qatar.

The three suspects were apprehended at the airport but all skipped bail. It is thought Kamran could be hiding in Kenya, Pakistan or Qatar. Interpol have released a grainy picture of Ahmed Kamran in the hope it will jog someone's memory.

Ioannis Kokkinis, Criminal Intelligence Officer with Interpol's Fugitive Investigative Support, encouraged members of the public with any potential information about the nine fugitives to contact their local police or law enforcement agency.

"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."

Ioannis Kokkinis

If you have seen any of these people, or have any information on their whereabouts, contact Interpol by emailing

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