Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Tigers, leopards, bears and more seized in Interpol raids

Hundreds of animals have been seized and more than 160 arrests made in Interpol co-ordinated raids across Asia. Under the PAWS (Protection of Asian Wildlife species) programme law enforcement officials from 13 Asian countries moved in on wildlife traffickers.

While the operation led to the seizures of high profile species such as tigers the focus of the operation was on the lesser known but still highly profitable species such as pangolins. The operation did not just cover street traders and markets but also online traders with social media sites also under investigation.

The operation made major seizures of a range of living animals and also dead wildlife products. Included in the haul were:

3.5 tonnes of elephant ivory,
280 kg of pangolin scales,
4 tonnes of red sandalwood,
rhino horns,
red pandas,
tortoises and
a large number of bird species.

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