Most widespread wildlife crime raid ever sweeps across more than 100 countries
A global coordinated effort led to the seizure of thousands of protected animals, plants, and wildlife products.
Global police and customs officials have concluded the most widespread environmental crime operation ever organized, involving 109 countries and resulting in nearly 2,000 seizures of protected wildlife, including 440 ivory pieces, more than 4,300 birds, and nearly 10,000 live turtles and tortoises, according to Interpol.
The effort, coordinated by Interpol and the World Customs Organization (WCO), identified nearly 600 suspects and spurred arrests around the world. Dubbed Operation Thunderball, it’s the third in a series—Interpol executed Operation Thunderbird in 2017 and Operation Thunderstorm in 2018, both of which targeted the illegal wildlife and timber trade and resulted in thousands of seizures.
The illegal wildlife trade is a multibillion dollar criminal enterprise. It’s the primary threat to the survival of numerous species,