The investigations undertaken by the WJC are long-term, extensive research projects, using the best available intelligence and resources. Operation Typhoon was an 18-month long investigation into the trafficking of ivory and rhino horn in Lao PDR. Our undercover teams estimated the illegal trade was worth more than USD 17 million.
A lengthy and detailed case file was given to the Laotian authorities in order to support their enforcement work.
Not only does this illegal trade threaten the future of some of the world’s most vulnerable species, it also knowingly breaches the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The Convention – which is signed by 183 countries, bans trade in endangered species. Appendix 1 listings are applied to species that are under the highest threat of extinction. All of the animals documented during Operation Typhoon were listed on Appendix 1 and should have been guaranteed the highest level of protection, not killed and shipped to the highest bidder.