Operation Ambush

During our Viet Nam investigation in 2016, we observed an alarming increase in the illegal tiger trade. Operation Ambush commenced in July 2016 to examine the drivers and organised criminality behind the illegal tiger trade across Asia, with a particular focus on the role of tiger farms across the Greater Mekong region.  

In August 2016, our investigators supported officers from the Malaysian Department of Wildlife & National Parks, PERHILITAN, who arrested eight Vietnamese nationals in possession of two wild tiger skins, tiger canines and bear claws. One was sentenced to three year’s imprisonment, one was fined MYR 15,000 (approx. USD 3,800) and the remaining six were convicted and deported back to Viet Nam. The Malayan tiger is now assessed to be critically endangered with less than 250 individuals left in the wild. Therefore, this network’s criminality is expected to have had a devastating impact upon Malaysia’s wild tiger population.

In September 2016, we published a briefing with insights into the methods being used, the journey tigers take to market, and how this is facilitated by organised criminality. See publication.

On World Tiger Day 2018, National Geographic detailed the case on a long feature published in their website. See publication.