Month-long transcontinental operation hit wildlife criminals hard
Geneva, 19 June 2018– An international operation against the illegal trade in wild animals and plants including timber has seen hundreds ofseizures worldwide as well as arrests of suspects.
20th June 2018
An international operation against the illegal trade in wild animals and plants including timber has seen hundreds ofseizures worldwide as well as arrests of suspects.
Code-named “Thunderstorm” and targeting the people and networks behind global wildlife crime, the operation involved police, customs, border, wildlife, forestry and environment agencies from 92 countries and resulted in millions of dollars-worth of seizures.
The month-long operation, from 1 to 31 May, has so far brought 1,974 seizures and the identification of some 1,400 suspects, triggering arrests and investigations worldwide. Further arrests and prosecutions are foreseen as ongoing investigations unfold.
According to INTEPOL, total worldwide seizures reported to date include:
43 tonnes of wild meat (from bear, elephant, crocodile, whale and zebra etc.)
1.3 tonnes of raw and processed elephant ivory
27,000 reptiles (including approximately 869 alligators/crocodiles, 9,590 turtles and 10,000 snakes)
almost 4,000 birds, including pelicans, ostriches, parrots and owls
several tonnes of wood and timber
48 live primates
14 big cats (tiger, lion, leopard and jaguar)
the carcasses of 7 bears, including 2 polar bears
The operation saw 8 tonnes of pangolin scales seized worldwide, including almost 4 tonnes by Vietnamese maritime authorities on board a ship arriving from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.