Operation Cobra Strikes to Dismantle Transnational Organized Wildlife Trafficking Networks

Arrest logo black and red       ASEAN-WEN       FREELAND    Initiative aimed at dismantling wildlife syndicates

Police, Customs and wildlife ocers from Asia, Africa and the United States participated in a month-long cross-border enforcement operation code-names “COBRA”. Cobra was an intelligence-driven initiative aimed at dismantling organized wildlife crime syndicates. ARREST partners FREELAND and ASEAN_WEN facilitated increased cooperation and real time intelligence exchange among range, transit and consumer countries. The operation focused on the quality of information over quantity of seizures and laid the groundwork for additional investigations currently underway. The operation yielded hundreds of arrests and seizures of assorted wildlife including 42,000kg of red sander wood, 6,500kg of elephant ivory, 1,550kg of shatoosh (Repre-senting 10,000 Tibetan antelopes killed), 2,600 live snakes, 324 hornbills, 102 pangolins, 800kg of pangolin scales, 22 rhino horns and 4 rhino horn carvings, as well as 10 tiger and 7 leopard trophies. The operation served as a model for international cooperation on wildlife tracking, specically targeting the
criminal networks that coordinate and provide financial backing for the trade.

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