A sting that took place across 92 countries has seized 43 tons of wild-animal meat, including bear, elephant, crocodile, whale and zebra meat.
Along with wild-animal meat, the sting also seized 1.3 tons of elephant ivory, 27,000 reptiles, almost 4,000 birds, 48 live primates, 14 big cats and the carcasses of seven bears including two polar bears.
Sheldon Jordan, Canada’s director general of Wildlife Enforcement said: “In this operation, these countries focused during the month of May on all sort of wildlife crimes whether they be plants, animals, timber,”
“The results were spectacular.”
Wildlife crime is thought to be worth around $115 billion a year.
The sting was in collaboration with the World Customs Organization, and was codenamed ‘Thunderstorm’.
Interpol has reported that 1,400 suspects have since been identified worldwide, including two flight attendants who were arrested in LA carrying live turtles to Asia in their baggage.
Authorities in Canada also found a container holding 18 tons of eel meat arriving from Asia.
Pangolins are the worlds most trafficked animal, due to their popularity within traditional Chinese medicine.
Operation Thunderstorm seized 8 tons of pangolin scales worldwide, half of which came from Congo.
“Wildlife trafficking groups use the same routes as criminals involved in other crime areas” said Interpol Secretary General Juergen Stock, “often hand-in-hand with tax evasion, corruption, money laundering and violent crime.”