Investigations

Intelligence-led, law enforcement-oriented operations

The Wildlife Justice Commission strongly believes that combining hard evidence through investigations with effective diplomacy will help governments bring the wildlife traffickers to account and put an end to the devastating illegal trade in endangered and vulnerable species.

Operating globally, our work reflects the transnational nature of the illegal wildlife trade and typically covers multiple countries within each investigation. When selecting a case, we seek to fulfil our mission to disrupt and help dismantle the criminal networks in order to achieve the highest impact.

Our investigations are at the basis of all our work. Meticulous, thoroughly and strictly planned and diligently documented, some take over two years to gather accurate, compelling and actionable evidence of the criminal activities of the networks trafficking wildlife. We make use of case management and intelligence analysis software employed by law enforcement agencies around the world. This allows us to provide our evidence and criminal analyses to law enforcement agencies in a format they are familiar with.

At the core of our work are our investigation team and undercover operatives. With a multidisciplinary background, the team is made up of former law enforcement officers from Australia, the US, the EU and Asian countries and have a combined 325-plus years of law enforcement experience in major case investigations, international wildlife trafficking investigation, surveillance, undercover and intelligence analysis. Our law enforcement experts also train law enforcement agencies in wildlife crime investigation techniques.

“We have seen the scale of destruction first hand and it is horrifying. But it makes us even more determined to make it our business to put an end to theirs.” WJC investigator

And unlike the wildlife organised crime syndicates, our ways of work are transparent and fair. All our investigators work with integrity and objectivity: those guiding principles form the basis of our investigation procedures.

Examples of our current and past investigations, some of which highlight the strong level of coordination and trust between our organisation and national law enforcement authorities are detailed as follows. In order not to jeopardise criminal proceedings or the security of our units, we are by necessity limited in the information we can share.

Operation Dragon

Revealing new evidence on the scale of corruption and trafficking in the turtle and tortoise trade

WJC Operations