The International Initiative of Law Enforcement for Climate (I2LEC) uncovered environmental crimes in the Amazon Basin, seizing over $32 million (AED 117.54 million) worth of items and arresting 25 suspects.

The seizure and arrests are part of a regional law enforcement operation named ‘Green Justice’, one of the UAE Ministry of Interior initiatives.

As per a statement, the operation dealt a serious blow to organised crime groups, seizing 2.4 tonnes of items related to illegal wildlife and marine catches, 37 illegal fishing equipment, 229 illegal mining equipment, and more than 10,498 cubic metres of illicitly cut wood. 

The joint operation was carried out between June 24 and 30, 2024, and generated intelligence, enabling thorough investigations into transnational environmental crime networks.

Located in the heart of the Amazon forest at the intersection of Colombia, Peru, and Brazil, the three-way border passage has been a hotspot for criminal activity, including the smuggling of illicit goods, wildlife poaching, deforestation, and illegal mining.

Lt. Colonel Dana Almarzooqi, Director-General of the International Affairs Bureau, UAE Ministry of Interior, and Coordinator of I2LEC, commented, “In line with the wise leadership’s keenness to preserve the environment and environmental wealth, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and his great support for the initiative, and the commitment of H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, was keen to combat environmental crimes by implementing international training and operations in the field of the environment under the umbrella of I2LEC. Since its founding in 2023, I2LEC has grown into a truly international collaborative initiative capable of bringing the desired real change in the field of environmental protection in the world. As the initiative’s coordinator, I feel proud to witness the realisation of our vision on the ground, which has been embodied in a coordinated global response to environmental crimes and its participation at COP events, holding dozens of trainings. I2LEC is serious about its work to support future operations and empower law enforcement agencies around the world to protect their precious natural resources. In addition, the results obtained in the Green Justice operation have been added to a heat map of environmental crimes, and the results will be analysed using artificial intelligence. It is worth noting that the monitored environmental crimes are considered among the major crimes linked to other crimes, such as money laundering.”

More seizures of illicit items and arrests are expected as part of ongoing investigations and coordination between various participants of the operation. This marks the beginning of a long-term global endeavour to combat environmental crimes in some of the world’s most vital ecological arteries.

The International Initiative of Law Enforcement for Climate (I2LEC), launched in 2023 and co-led by the UAE Ministry of Interior in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), is a global platform aimed at awareness-raising, capacity-building, and research concerning crimes affecting the environment and climate change.



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