Interpol: $5.1 million of illegal wildlife and timber seized




UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Interpol says a three-week operation to tackle the illegal trade in wildlife and timber in 43 countries has led to the seizure of $5.1 million worth of illicit products from wild cats to sea horses and the identification of nearly 900 suspects.

The operation, codenamed Thunderbird, was carried out jointly by police, customs, border agencies, and environment, wildlife and forestry officials ahead of World Wildlife Day on Friday.

Its results put a spotlight on the increase in wildlife trafficking and the billions of dollars in illegal profits that it generates.

Interpol Secretary-General Jurgen Stock said: "Simply put, criminals are helping themselves to the environment's precious resources without a care for the cost to our planet."

He said the operation's success demonstrates what can be achieved by international cooperation.

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