Clockwise from top left. “What’s all this, then?”; Enough garlic to keep an Italian restaurant stocked for a decade; Gratuitous raid jacket shot using fisheye lens; Wild free-range garlic. Photo collage by Interpol

It’s difficult to pass off elephant tusks as garlic. Especially when you have 700 tusks. This is probably why more people don’t try it. More on how the scheme failed, according to Interpol, below:

Networks behind ivory and rhino horn trafficking targeted in East Africa

May 4, 2016

One man has been arrested and warrants issued for three others in connection with ongoing investigations into two organized crime networks believed to have trafficked at least 8,635 kg of ivory and 53 kg of rhino horn from East and Southern Africa to Asia.

A 44-year-old Chinese national was arrested in Tanzania on suspicion of trafficking in government trophies following the deployment of INTERPOL Investigative Support Teams to Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda.

The IST followed a Regional Investigative and Analytical Case Meeting at the INTERPOL Regional Bureau for East Africa in Nairobi which brought together 16 officials from Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe to share investigative information relating to ivory trafficking cases.

The teams, which were deployed from 25 to 29 April, also gathered additional intelligence for analysis to identify other potential links to the organized crime networks.

In March, an investigation by the Tanzanian authorities supported by INTERPOL led to the conviction of two Chinese nationals for illegal ivory possession and attempting to bribe police and officials from the national wildlife department. Each was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Qin Huang and Fujie Xu were arrested in Dar Es Salam in possession of more than 700 elephant tusks worth approximately $3 million, which were concealed in sacks of garlic.

INTERPOL provided assistance to the Tanzanian investigation through the analysis of travel records, financial transactions and other evidence, including seized mobile phones which were sent to the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore for digital forensic examination.

 

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