Project WEB: An investigation into the ivory trade over the internet within the European Union
INTERPOL’s Project Web was launched following studies by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), which concluded that elephant ivory is the most widely traded wildlife product over the Internet. Project Web is intended to provide an initial snapshot and insight from a law enforcement perspective into the drivers, scale, nature, and involved entities of the illegal trade in ivory over the Internet.
Over a period of two weeks, ten participating countries from the European Union (EU) conducted surveillance of their national auction sites to identify advertisements for ivory items. The details of 660 advertisements on 61 auction sites were analysed and estimated to have a total volume of around 4,500 kilograms of ivory and a total value of approximately EUR 1,450,000. Through analysis of its two week Internet surveillance data, Project Web found that ivory is predominantly sold by individuals residing in the country where they are selling the item, although a number of advertisements did have international links.