OTTAWA — Canadian officials have seized 18 tonnes of suspected European eel meat as part of a 92-country sting involving the trade of illegal animal parts.
Environment Canada says officers in several provinces also intercepted shark fins and controlled snakes, as well as products such as briefcases and handbags made from endangered species.
The efforts were part of Operation Thunderstorm, a month-long investigation led by the international law organization Interpol.
The government says federal and provincial officers inspected live animals in transport, responded to complaints of habitat and wildlife destruction, and did hunter and angler checks.
The eel meat, which arrived in Canada from Asia, is from an endangered species and has been banned for export by the European Union since 2010.
Global wildlife crime — including poaching, smuggling and trafficking of animals and plants — is estimated by the United Nations and Interpol to be worth more than $200 billion a year, making it the world’s fourth most lucrative form of crime.
The Canadian Press