The INTERPOL and World Customs Organization conducted Operation Thunder, in 103 countries in 2020. The Operation conducted was against environmental crimes.
The Operation Thunder held between September 14, 2020, and October 11, 2020. This resulted in large seizures of protected forestry and wildlife specimen.
It triggered arrests and investigations worldwide, including India.
In India, the India Customs along with INTERPOL and WCO seized 18 tonnes of red sandalwood which were destined for UAE.
The seizures included 1.3 tonnes of ivory, 1 tonne of pangolin scales, 1,700 killed pangolins, 87 truckloads of timber, 56,200 kg of marine products and 15,878 kg of plants.
The operation recovered 45,000 live animals. This included 1,400 turtles, 6,000 tortoise eggs, 1,600 birds, 1,800 reptiles.
According to INTERPOL, wildlife and forestry crime is the fourth largest illegal trade in the world. It often occurs in corruption, tax evasion, money laundering.
The Operation is being held since 2017. Under the Operation, the participating countries focused on particularly vulnerable species protected under CITES.