VIDEO: Joint INTERPOL Operation WORTHY takes down ivory traffickers

In 2012, INTERPOL and the International Fund for Animal Welfare teamed up to execute Operation WORTHY, an law enforcement operation with a mission to go after the criminals involved in the illegal trade in elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn.

I was in Zambia with our IFAW crew on the first day of the operation when undercover investigators seized nine crocodile skins and five pairs of ivory tusks.

More ivory was confiscated the day after I left.

Government law enforcement officers and INTERPOL agents arrested more than 200 people, seized almost 2 tons of ivory, 20 kilos of rhino horn and military-grade automatic weapons.

Also seized were lion, leopard and cheetah pelts, crocodile and python skins, live tropical birds and turtles and other protected species.

More than 320 officers from agencies including police, customs, environmental protection, veterinary services, airport security, ministries of tourism and prosecuting authorities took part in the operation. They investigated wildlife traffickers and criminal syndicates in domestic markets, ports, shops, border crossings and at roadside checks.

Find out more about Op WORTHY in the video above and many thanks for your support of our efforts.


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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
Dr. Elsayed Ahmed Mohamed, Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation
Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation Program
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Pauline Verheij, Program Manager, Wildlife Crime
Program Manager, Wildlife Crime
Rikkert Reijnen, Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Country Representative, Germany
Country Representative, Germany
Staci McLennan, Director, EU Office
Director, EU Office
Tania McCrea-Steele, Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Consulting Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy