Project Predator

Snow leopard
A snow leopard
Jameel Ahmed, Walkabout Films / US Embassy in Pakistan

Duration: 2015 – 2018

Implementing Partner: INTERPOL

Budget: $3 million

Key Partners: State Environment Protection Agency

Activity Locations: Kyrgyz Republic, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Activity Goals

Asian big cats are on the brink of extinction. The greatest threat comes from criminals who control an illegal trade that spans across international borders. Snow leopards, tigers and other Asian big cats are illegally killed or poached due to the high value of their fur on the black market, and the demand for their body parts for traditional medicines. Profits from these illegal activities are also linked to fraud, money laundering, tax evasion, other kinds of smuggling, violence and extortion.

The goal of Project Predator is to increase communication, coordination and collaboration between law enforcement agencies at the national and transnational level, drawing upon individual strengths, resources and expertise. Stronger transnational coordination across countries means a stronger, more united force against wildlife criminals.

Major Focus Areas

Tackling big cat crime requires an enforcement response that employs advanced, intelligence-led investigations and the engagement of the whole criminal justice system. INTERPOL is strategically placed to provide a wide range of services to help its member countries to harness political will, transform it into departmental support, and develop the capacity of officers to increase the overall impact of law enforcement efforts against Asian big cat crime.

The project includes the following activities:

  • Coordinating investigation of transnational cases and operations;
  • Prioritize the investigation of wildlife criminals and networks;
  • Deploying Investigative Support Teams (ISTs) ;
  • Providing secure channels for exchange of intelligence;
  • Information management and analysis support;
  • Developing strategic and tactical reports on Asian big cat crime;
  • Providing access to INTERPOL’s unique tools and global databases;
  • Capacity building;
  • Encouraging multi-agency collaboration at the national level through the formation of National Environmental Security Task Forces (NESTs)
  • Strengthen the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN) as an institution and connect it to INTERPOL’s global network

Expected Impact

  • Encourage high level dialogue to generate political will and departmental support
  • Decrease poaching and trafficking of snow leopards
  • Strengthen the enforcement responses and encourage better integration with the entire criminal justice
  • Implementation of the Global Law Enforcement Component of the Snow Leopard Convention
  • Develop capacity and a better understanding of the crime