The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and World Customs Organization (WCO) conducted Operation Thunder, in 103 countries between September 14, 2020, and October 11, 2020 against environmental crimes. It resulted in large seizures of protected forestry and wildlife specimen and triggered arrests and investigations worldwide, including India.
- During the Operation, India Customs along with INTERPOL and WCO intercepted an 18-tonne shipment of red sandalwood destined for the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
- The participating countries focused mainly on the species protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
- During the operation, 699 offenders were apprehended.
It should be noted that Operation Thunder 2020 is the fourth in a series of “Thunder” operations carried out annually since 2017.
Other Key Seizures Worldwide:
–In total, 56,200 kg of marine products were seized during Operation Thunder 2020
–Besides, 1,160 birds and 15,878 kg of plants were seized during the operation.
— Other seizures included 1.3 tonnes of ivory, 1 tonne of pangolin scales, 1,700 killed pangolins, 87 truckloads of timber.
–The operation recovered 45,000 live animals. This included 1,400 turtles, 6,000 tortoise eggs, 1,600 birds, 1,800 reptiles.
— Mexican law enforcement rescued an adult female white tiger, a jaguar and a four-month old lion cub in Sinaloa, Mexico.
–Wildlife and forestry crime is the world’s fourth largest illegal trade.
Recent Related News:
i.On 19th September 2020, at the 50th Director General(DG) level conference between India and Bangladesh, both the countries have agreed to share real time intelligence on the smuggling syndicates to control and prevent criminal activities
ii.On October 22, 2020, Union Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Jitendra Singh addressed the 1st Ever Ministerial Meeting of G-20 Anti-Corruption Working Group virtually.
About International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL):
Secretary General– Jurgen Stock
Headquarter– Lyon, France
Member Countries– 194
About World Customs Organization (WCO):
Secretary General– Kunio Mikuriya
Headquarter– Brussels, Belgium
Member Countries– 183