Commander of Forestry Police Division, Royal Thai Police, Thailand
The Major General is responsible for leading the series of raids across Thailand targeting illegal wildlife dealers and those illegally engaged in captive breeding of endangered species such as tigers and orangutans. The high profile raids in late 2003 illustrated the value of sustained and well-orchestrated operations led by committed individuals. In one raid, a team of forestry police officers under Maj. Gen. Sawaeke Pinsinchai’s leadership, entered a house on the outskirts of Bangkok and discovered tiger carcasses quartered and on ice, 21 bear paws, severed at the joints, six starving tigers, five live bears, and four baby orangutans, one of which died because of the horrendous conditions. Sawaeke’s team also raided an open market, and seized more than 1,000 protected birds in one day, and a couple of private zoos, where they found 70 unregistered orangutans. The illegal trade in wildlife in Thailand has suffered a serious blow as a result of this seasoned police officer’s actions. He has taken on powerful businessmen and not faltered, his courage and determination deserve recognition.
In October 2003, the largest ever haul of tiger and leopard skins took place in the Tibet Autonomous Region. A total of 31 tiger skins, 581 leopard skins and 778 otter skins were recovered from a single truck and three people were arrested. A temporary inspection point west of Lhasa made the seizure, but officers from Lhasa Customs Anti-smuggling Bureau, treating the matter as a priority, undertook an extensive investigation to find out more about the trade. Their efforts were critical in determining that the skins came from India and a greater understanding of how the trade works has resulted from their investigation. The China Customs Administration is pursuing this case through the courts.
Director of Bokor National Park in Cambodia
Mr. Yuthearith has been working effectively to implement the Bokor Conservation Project (BCP) in Cambodia. More recently he has assumed extra duties as the Coordinator at the National Protected Areas Training Center, also located at Bokor National Park. The Park has now become a model protection project for Cambodia and is now being emulated in three further Cambodian protected areas. In the line of duty he has received numerous threats against his life and has been the target of gunfire. Several of his staff have had hand-grenades thrown at them and have suffered injuries as a result. Working in conservation in Cambodia can be dangerous to say the least and as a representative of the staff of the Ministry of Environment and a judicial law enforcement officer he is a shining example of what a dedicated and honest official can achieve.
Division of Law Enforcement, United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Forestry Official 5, Thailand Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
Corporal Kuri was recruited into the Kenya Wildlife Service in 1990 and since then has played a key role in security operations in Meru National Park, Tsavo East and Tsavo West as well as non-protected areas nationwide.Corporal Kuri is a fearless section commander who has led men under his command to various successful operations. In April 2002, for instance, he was asked to pursue a gang of four heavily armed poachers who had massacred ten elephants at Mfupa Ndovu in Tsavo National Park. Although the gang of armed Somali militia men employed superior firepower , his unit engaged them in a fierce fight and managed to overpower them. He recovered a G3 rifle, an ammunition magazine, 117 rounds of ammunition, one rifle propelled grenade, and eighteen elephant tusks. According to the Director of the Kenya Wildlife Service, it was due to “his bravery and effective command that the poachers were neutralized.