Investigations

A crucial tool to address wildlife crime
Undercover investigative activities conducted by professionals are among the most important tools we have to address wildlife crime. We research the ‘modus operandi’ of the parties behind illegal trafficking, we target the individuals and organizations that are profiting from poaching and the illegal trade of wildlife, and when possible, we share information with trusted law enforcement agencies through our Confidential Intel Briefs (CIBs).
Our investigators come from the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Africa, with skills acquired in the field and an incredible amount of combined experience.
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Undercover investigation on ivory trafficking in China (credit: Elephant Action League)

What and where we investigate
EAL’s mission is to fight wildlife crime globally. EAL is currently running various information-gathering and intelligence activities, and managing 12 investigative projects in three continents, in the effort to expose wildlife crime and disrupt wildlife criminal networks. In particular, we investigate poaching and the international trafficking of ivory, rhino horn, apes, big cats and birds.
For security reasons we cannot elaborate on ongoing investigations.
A few examples of our investigative projects: Ivory & Rhino Horn in China and Hong KongMombasa Port, Ivory Trafficking Networks in East Africa, Ivory and Terrorism.

 

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Checking illegal logging in Central Africa (credit: Elephant Action League)

Independence and Integrity
Our business model is different. In order to conduct information gathering operations and independent investigations in certain countries, and to be able to publish the findings and protect our integrity, we cannot be based in those countries as we cannot have offices and personnel who could become a liability during a potential confrontation with a body under investigation.
Our role is not to be part of the local establishment of NGOs, activists, governmental and inter-governmental organizations, but to act as an external agency with the goal of collecting actionable information and intelligence, without the risk of being censored, intimidated, or expelled.

 

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White rhino near the Kruger National Park, South Africa (credit: Elephant Action League)

 

Security and discretion
In order to protect our sources and not jeopardize our undercover investigative activities, we keep confidential most of our partners in the field and the details of our operations.
We collaborate with dozens of local NGOs, individuals, and trusted governmental organizations, but we never publish or mention their names. Their identity is protected even within our organization and information is managed on a ‘need to know’ basis.
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Flying over Eastern Africa (credit: Elephant Action League)

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