Authorities have rescued thousands of animals which were endangered and recognized practically 600 suspects on the planet’s most significant anti-wildlife trafficking sting, officers mentioned.
World Customs Organization (WCO) and Interpol introduced that “Operation Thunderball,” a coordinated mission from June 4 to June 30, resulted in practically 2,000 seizures of live animals and animal parts and triggered worldwide arrests.
“It’s a landmark. It’s the first time such a big joint network has been mobilized — throughout 109 countries,” Interpol’s wildlife expert Henri Fournel told The Associated Press. “What we lacked in tackling wildlife crime was a concerted network, and that is what we have now.”
Through the operation, officials mentioned they seized 23 live primates, more than 4,300 birds, nearly 1,500 reptiles and almost 10,000 turtles and tortoises.
Officials additionally found 440 pieces of elephant tusks and an additional 545 kilograms of ivory, five rhino horns, almost 74 truckloads of timber and nearly 7,7000 wildlife parts from many species.
“As clearly illustrated by the results of Operation Thunderball, close cooperation at international and national ranges to combat wildlife crime must never be under-estimated,” WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya mentioned in a launch.
Interpol stated 582 suspects have been arrested worldwide, and further arrests and prosecutions are anticipated as the ongoing global investigations progress.
“Wildlife crime not only strips our environment of its resources, it additionally influences by the associated violence, money laundering, and fraud,” Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock stated in a launch. “Operations like Thunderball are concrete actions targeting the transnational crime networks cashing in on these illicit actions. We will continue our efforts with our companions to ensure that there are consequences for criminals who steal from our environment.”