Thousands of endangered animals seized in customs operation

AP:

Police and customs officials have carried out the most widespread anti-wildlife-trafficking operation ever in a joint global operation that’s led to the seizure of thousands of endangered animals and the arrest of nearly 600 suspects.

The World Customs Organization and Interpol said Wednesday that in June they conducted nearly 2,000 seizures in a historic joint-operation that helped local authorities round up nearly 10,000 live turtles and tortoises, nearly 1,500 live reptiles, 23 live apes, 30 live big cats, hundreds of pieces of elephant tusk, half a ton of ivory and five rhino horns.

“It’s landmark. It’s the first time such a large joint network has been mobilized — across 109 countries,” Interpol’s wildlife expert Henri Fournel told The Associated Press.

“What we lacked in tackling wildlife crime was a concerted network and this is what we have now,” he added.

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