<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) is all set to launch a month-long covert operation across the country on August 1, to check illegal trade of lesser-known species of animals.Named Operation Lesknow, the mission would be to get hold of poachers and others involved in the illegal trade by roping in multiple investigation and enforcement agencies, including the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).Not only that, the WCCB will also seek help from international agencies such as the Interpol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to bust international poaching rackets.A four-page detailed note regarding the operation, accessed by DNA, stated that the operation will cover animals such as Spinner Dolphin, Hump-Backed or Plumbeous Dolphin, Tibetan Pole Cat, Hog deer, and 70 other lesser-known species.The operation will not, however, include big cats, birds, elephant rhinoceros and marine species such as turtles.As per the note prepared by Additional Director Tilotama Varma: “The bureau envisages conducting wildlife enforcement operation, code named Operation Lesknow, to be carried out from August 1 to 31. The operation is conceived to rope in all enforcement agencies within the country to focus their attention towards illegal wildlife trade in lesser-known species.”It further stated that the operation would be jurisdiction-specific, and the states or agencies will cooperate and coordinate with each other, so that inter-state networks can be detected.”Despite the aggressive efforts of the government and international bodies such as Interpol to address wildlife crime at all levels, it remains one of the most lucrative criminal activities in the world. According to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the illegal trade is worth nearly $20 billion a year, placing it just under guns, drugs, and human trafficking,” the note stated.While species such as tiger, elephant, rhinoceros, and leopard get much attention, species such as Pangolin, Otter, Monitor Lizard, Nigri Tahr, Red Panda, Slender Ioris, Mongoose, and Civets are hardly even known. “To end poaching of lesser-known species, enforcement agencies in the field of wildlife crime have to run this covert operation,” the note stated.Talking about the modus operandi, the note stated: “Intelligence gathered from all states will be shared with the Bureau every Monday. We will coordinate with the agencies and if the information leads us out of the state or country, specific agencies and Interpol will be roped in to facilitate detection of links.”The WCCB had forwarded the details and the purpose of the operation to all enforcement agencies on July 25 and had appealed to them to be ready to assist.

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Covert op to check wildlife trade