Illegal wildlife smuggling could reduce as Interpol cracks down on such activities. This was the third such mission of the agency in recent years. The swoop down led to arrest of nearly 600 suspects. Alongside there was seizure of thousands of wild animals. These include a wide variety of birds, animals and reptiles. Interpol conducted the global operation. It was in coordination with the World Customs Organization (WCO). The operation covered 109 countries. It concentrated on normal trafficking routes and crime hotspots. The name of the operation was Thunderball based in Singapore. As a result, the suspects fell in the net. Wildlife seized included primates and big cats. In addition, there were birds, live reptiles, turtles and tortoises. Remember, smugglers always have their eyes on rare and exotic varieties. The reason is they fetch handsome prices. Therefore, smuggling of these species of wildlife is profitable.
Interpol determined to stop illegal wildlife smuggling
Any smuggling is profitable to those who have access to necessary information. They have networks spread across the globe. In this operation, police were holding 582 suspects. Interpol informed about possibilities of further arrests and prosecutions. Apart from animals, birds, and reptiles, they also seized elephant tusks and ivory. Ivory is an attractive item and there is a demand. Read on to know more on ivory smuggling. It seems there is a flourishing illegal wildlife trade online. Consequently, it becomes difficult to trace the route or identify the persons involved. As a part of operation Thunderball, arrests have been made in Spain. Moreover, in Italy police seized hundreds of birds.
Smuggling of elephant tusks
Illegal wildlife smuggling harms the environment. In addition, it has an impact on society. This is because of associated violence, money laundering and fraud. Earlier operations of Interpol during 2017 and 2018 resulted in seizures worth several million dollars. Incidentally, a court in Tanzania sentenced a Chinese businesswoman to 15 years in jail. Her age is 69, and she was known as Ivory Queen. She had smuggled tusks of more than 350 elephants to Asia. These involve killing the animals. Census figures show that there was a drastic fall in Tanzania’s elephant numbers. The decline was from 110,000 in 2009 to just 43,000 by 2014.