Operation COBRA III achieves huge success in seizing wildlife contraband

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BANGKOK, June 2015 – Royal Thai Police have announced the success of a month-long international global wildlife enforcement operation, code named “COBRA III” in tackling transnational environmental crime, especially wildlife and forest crime and involved taking action against crime syndicates engaged in poaching wildlife.

The Operation, coordinated by the Bangkok-based International Coordination Team (ICT), was carried out from 4th-27th May this year with the participation of officers drawn from wildlife protection, Customs, Police, Forestry, and other law enforcement and inter-governmental agencies from 62 countries all over the globe.

Armed with information and intelligence on wildlife and forest crime at an international level, authorities assembled a multi-agency team to seek and capture the perpetrators, at a national level.

The Operation was conducted across source, transit and destination countries where gangs engage in wildlife contraband, encompassing Africa, Asia, America and Europe. In Thailand, it led to more than 300 arrests of suspects including kingpins, and over 600 seizures of various wildlife contraband, including 12 metric tons of elephant ivory, 119 rhino horns, 10 metric tons of rosewood and 344 black terrapin turtles, as well as firearms and ammunition.

The outstanding result of the Operation in Thailand included seizure of over 4.3 tons in ivory, which is one of the largest elephant ivory hauls ever.

The shipment was on its way from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Lao PDR, as well as the seizure of 3.1 tons of ivory from Kenya.

The Operation was conducted under the Chairmanship of the Association of South East Asian Nations Wildlife Enforcement Network, Law Enforcement Extension Office (ASEAN-WEN LEEO)

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