November 4, 2010

INTERPOL Operation Targets Illegal Trade in Endangered Reptiles

Sea Turtle, Photo credit Yannick Beadoin

INTERPOL reports that

A worldwide operation co-ordinated by INTERPOL and involving 51 countries across all five continents against the illegal trade in reptiles and amphibians has resulted in arrests worldwide and the seizure of thousands of animals as well as of products worth more than 25 million Euros.

Including national wildlife enforcement authorities, police, customs and specialized units from participating countries, Operation RAMP (September – October) focused particularly on illegal activities relating to the trade and possession of endangered reptiles such as turtles and snakes which included Boa constrictors. The operation resulted in thousands of searches and inspections being conducted, and saw hundreds of suspects being investigated or charged as part of an on-going series of investigations. The goods seized included leather products, and illicit firearms and drugs were also uncovered.

During the two month-long operation, which led to investigations into individuals and companies as well as inspections of premises such as seaports and wholesalers, INTERPOL’s Environmental Crime Programme unit acted as a key operational communications and intelligence centre, facilitating the exchange of information between the world police body’s member countries participating in the operation.

For the full report, see http://www.interpol.int/Public/ICPO/PressReleases/PR2010/PR089.asp

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