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 European Union 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.

A timeline of

Operation Dragon

Here you can see how Operation Dragon evolved over time during 2016-2018 and the results that it yielded. Click on the events through the timeline to read on the developments and watch the undercover videos obtained during the investigation, developed in close collaboration with Indian and Malaysian law enforcement agencies and with INTERPOL.

Listen to our podcast

In our first podcast ‘Women Against Wildlife Crime’ we listen to testimonies of women at the Wildlife Justice Commission who are working to put an end to wildlife crime. Crime investigators, intelligence analysts, lawyers, communicators: women are and have always been at the forefront of the fight against wildlife trafficking, a multi-billion-dollar transnational organised crime that is threatening our already scarce wildlife.

Coming from diverse cultural backgrounds and different professional careers, they are a large part of a team which is contributing to deter wildlife trafficking, drive the criminals out of the shadows and bring an end to their dirty business, so we can gain time for species to recover.

Operation Dragon

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

WJC Operations