The Wildlife Justice Commission published today the Annual Report for 2022, highlighting major achievements and detailing various activities for the year. As the Covid-19 pandemic slowly subsided and borders opened, criminal networks went back to business as usual, resulting in an increase in poaching and trafficking of wildlife. In response, the Wildlife Justice Commission stepped up its efforts in the fight against transnational organised wildlife crime.
2022 was our most successful year since our founding in 2015. Our intelligence-led approach allowed us to secure major arrests in, amongst others, Nigeria, Mozambique and Thailand, to deepen our understanding of the criminal dynamics, and to share our expertise with law enforcement, policy makers, and practitioners across the globe.
One of our biggest successes was the continuation of our partnership with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), which resulted in the arrest of 14 suspects in three separate operations, including three high ranking members of a Vietnamese criminal network. In Thailand, our joint investigations with the Royal Thai Police Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division (NED) led to several arrests and seizure of a three-month old tiger cub and a live pangolin. In Mozambique, we provided support to the Serviço Nacional de Investigação Criminal (SERNIC) during the arrest of a well-known rhino horn trafficker, Simon Valoyi, also known as Navara.
In addition to the efforts on the ground, the Wildlife Justice Commission produced an impressive array of intelligence briefings and four public reports, which included detailed insights into our investigative and intelligence work. We continued urging policy makers and governments to prioritise the fight against wildlife crime in various international fora such as the UN Ocean Conference, the United for Wildlife Global Summit and CITES CoP19.
Throughout 2022, the Wildlife Justice Commission continued sharing our expertise with law enforcement and practitioners. We provided tailored training courses for law enforcement agencies and legal professionals in five countries this year to strengthen intelligence-led wildlife crime investigations and effective prosecutions. We also provided judicial training to prosecutors in Thailand; training to prosecutors and forestry officials in Lao PDR; training to the Sabah Wildlife Department and Sabah Forestry Departments in Malaysia; and four training courses for law enforcement agencies in Mozambique and South Africa.
We are also proud to have reached out to a wider audience this year as we produced our own podcast and our work was featured in four other podcasts.
Our work is only possible thanks to our generous donors and partners. Last year, Oak Foundation awarded the Wildlife Justice Commission a grant of EUR 1,260,000 to support its mission in the coming 3 years, to disrupt and help dismantle the criminal networks that profit from the trafficking of wildlife. We also proudly welcomed the FRED foundation and the UK People’s Postcode Lottery to our circle of donors. We are grateful to the many donors who continued supporting us this year.