Nearly 200 people are under arrest in a vast crackdown on the illegal timber trade from Central and South America. Interpol says it seized $A8 Million in illegally harvested timber from the region's rainforests.
The illegal timber trade is worth about $100 Billion worldwide. That’s enough money to kill for, as criminal gangs stepped up their involvement into remote forests. In Venezuela these gangs have repeatedly clashed with indigenous groups who live deep in the bush.
But the problems easily cross national borders. Dozens of anti-logging activists have been murdered in Brazil in recent years. Colombian police say rebel groups are including illegal logging in their portfolios as a source of revenue. Interpol says this operation spanned 12 Central and South American countries, and it’s just beginning.