Interpol has announced that it had seized protected and valuable timber species from nine West Africa countries worth more than $262 million.
The timber was seized during the “Operation Log” in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal and Togo.
The operation was carried out in West Africa, Central and South America between July and September 2015, a statement by Interpol said on Friday.
The investigation revealed that the rosewood species, highly in demand worldwide and particularly in Asia for its pink or red wood, was the main timber being plundered.
A total of 44 individuals were arrested during the operation on the major trade routes used by criminal networks.Interpol said more international police cooperation was necessary to combat the criminal networks involved in the illegal rosewood trade.It lauded the Burkina Faso authorities for cooperating in combatting the criminal networks.