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21 September 2015

Singapore leads transnational ivory trafficking investigation

LYON, France – INTERPOL is supporting a transnational investigation into the seizure of 1,783 pieces of ivory which occurred last May in Southeast Asia.

The investigation, led by the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore, will involve DNA analysis of the seized ivory with a view to determining the geographical area in Africa where it originated.

INTERPOL deployed an Investigative Support Team (IST) to provide case-specific investigative support to the large-scale ivory seizures in Thailand and Singapore in July, where more than five tonnes of ivory were recovered.

David Higgins, Head of the INTERPOL Environmental Security unit, said the IST’s on-the-ground assistance highlights INTERPOL's ongoing efforts to assist member countries in investigation techniques in order to identify and disrupt transnational criminal networks involved in the illegal ivory trade.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore underscored its commitment to combating ivory trafficking by working closely with INTERPOL in the investigation process.

Ivory trafficking is a serious transnational crime involving organized criminal networks operating across multiple countries. Close cooperation between agencies at both a national and international level is crucial to ensure information and intelligence exchange to support investigations and dismantle the criminal networks involved in ivory trafficking.