Second season of the Wildlife Kingpin podcast dives into the trafficking of turtles and tortoises in Southeast Asia

Wildlife Kingpin: Operation Dragon

The Wildlife Justice Commission is launching a new podcast in the Wildlife Kingpin series. Following on from “Wildlife Kingpin: The Rise and Fall of Ah Nam”, comes “Operation Dragon”. This second series sheds light on the investigation conducted by the Wildlife Justice Commission that brought to justice some of the biggest turtle and tortoise traffickers in Southeast Asia.

In this groundbreaking true crime series, Operation Dragon details the Wildlife Justice Commission’s 2016-2018 successful sting operation to capture the most prolific wildlife kingpins in the illegal trade of turtles and tortoises and to disrupt the trafficking networks. Over this two-part podcast series, listeners are given an in-depth and gripping behind-the-scenes account of the Wildlife Justice Commission’s investigation. Including phone calls that were recorded as part of the investigation and interviews with senior operatives on the case, the podcast unravels the layers of corruption that fuel this wildlife crime, whilst exposing the devastating impact that this multi-million-dollar trade has on the endangered reptile species in South and Southeast Asia.

This podcast is not just the story of an investigation – it is a story of international collaboration. The Wildlife Justice Commission investigators collaborated with several law enforcement agencies, including the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (India), the Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia (PERHILITAN) and INTERPOL Environmental Crime Program, resulting in the arrest of a key broker operating across several countries.

As a result of Operation Dragon eight wildlife trafficking networks were disrupted, 30 individuals were arrested, and five traffickers were convicted, reducing the pressure on these species. In all, over 6,000 vulnerable and critically endangered freshwater turtles and tortoises were rescued from traffickers.

Listen to the podcast here or tune in to SpotifyAppleBuzzsprout, and Soundcloud.

Share it via social media with the hashtag #WildlifeKingpin and #OperationDragon, and please, leave us a review. We would love to hear from you!

And if you want to learn more about this operation, read our report here.