More than 1,000 big cats, turtles and birds seized in International operation

Credit: Guardia Civil

More than 1,000 big cats, turtles and birds were seized in an International trafficking operation.  

The operation was run by Interpol and the World Customs Organisation and involved wildlife enforcement agencies from 118 different countries. The operation was codenamed Operation Thunder 2021. Sniffer dogs and x-ray scanners were used to check thousands of cargo ships, trucks and cars.

The worldwide seizures included 75 big cat parts and 29 live big cats along with reptiles and birds. In Spain, more than 250,000 euros of protected items were seized. This includes turtles, items made from ivory and parrots. The operation ran for the entirety of October and around 300 suspects were identified.

Jurgen Stock the Interpol Secretary general commented: “Organised crime networks are generating billions in illicit profits every year, at significant cost to our environment as well as the associated impacts of fraud, corruption, and violence,

“We are seeing the continued globalisation of crime, which means only an international response can be effective, as demonstrated with this latest Operation Thunder.”

He went on to add: “Every one of our 195 member countries has a role to play in combating this threat, either directly or in the follow-up investigations.”

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Written by

Alex Glenn

Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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