Biggest International Operation Against Ivory Traffickers - 200 Arrested

by SA Tourism news

Interpol made more than 200 arrests and retrieved nearly two tonnes of contraband ivory on June 19 in its biggest international operation against ivory traffickers, according to a report by Timeslive.

The three-month-long operation, which spread across 14 countries in east, south and west Africa - including South Africa - also led to the recovery of more than 20 kilograms of rhino horn.

According to the report, leopard and cheetah pelts, crocodile and python skins and live specimens of other protected species were also found. Firearms, including AK47s and M16 rifles, were also recovered.

"This has been to date the most wide-ranging operation co-ordinated by Interpol against the illegal ivory trade, not just in terms of seizures and arrests, but also in targeting the criminal organisations," said David Higgins, Manager of Interpol's environmental crime programme.

The drive drew more than 320 officials from police, customs and environmental protection agencies.

The countries that took part in the operation were Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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