In 2005, a Nepal Army patrol guarding the Langtang National Park caught four people trying to transport 5 tiger pelts, 36 leopard skins and 113kg of tiger bones being taken to the Chinese border in a truck. They also named Kunjok Lama, Nudup Lama and Dondhip Lama as the main masterminds.
The Park warden at the time sentenced in absentia two of the accused to 15 years and one to five years in prison, and released one of those caught. The sentences were upheld by an Appeals Court and the Supreme Court.
The Langtang National Park provided details about Kunjok to the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB), which led to a 15 year long search that finally ended last week in Baudhha with the arrest of Kunjok Lama, who is originally from Humla district.
“Every time we caught smugglers with wildlife contraband, they kept taking Kunjok’s name,” recalls DIG Sahakul Thapa of the Bureau.I