Operation Jaguar: ELI’s New Report On Jaguar Trafficking in Suriname

  • By ELI
  • May 1, 2023

Since 2018 Earth League International (ELI) conducted information-gathering and research activities on jaguar poaching and trafficking in the Amazon region (Operation Jaguar) , in collaboration with the IUCN National Committee of the Netherlands (IUCN NL).



ELI investigated the criminal networks behind this illegal wildlife trade and unveiled the traffickers’ modus operandi and transport methods, routes and geographical hotspots. The investigation showed that the demand for jaguar parts comes from Asia and the trade is generally run by Chinese residents in Latin America. Fangs and bones are then sold in China as tiger parts, with very high profits.

After the publication of the report on jaguar trafficking in Bolivia, and the report about Jaguar Trafficking and Crime Convergence in Latin America, Earth League International and IUCN NL publish today a report about trafficking in/from Suriname: Unveiling The Criminal Networks Behind Jaguar Trafficking In Suriname.





Key Findings 

ELI’s intelligence-led investigations in Suriname began independently in 2017 and expanded in 2019 onwards as part of Operation Jaguar. The aim was to compile and analyze information on the trafficking routes, the main destinations, the key criminals and their networks, and the underlying drivers of this illegal trade.

All findings presented in the report are supported by evidence collected first-hand by ELI investigators. The un-redacted version of the report has been prepared by our crime analysts in a Confidential Intelligence Brief (CIB) that ELI carefully shares with law enforcement and government authorities. Through the investigations, ELI identified over 20 Persons of Interest in Suriname, with 14 being Chinese national, mostly of them Tier-1 international traffickers and middlemen, and the remaining comprising of Surinamese and European nationals.


ELI identified and researched two important wildlife trafficking networks in Suriname titled SA1 and SA18. These networks are two of the most robust and resourceful wildlife trafficking networks in South America and are led by Chinese individuals operating transnationally from many different countries. SA1 and SA18 also engage in a variety of other serious crimes, such as human smuggling, money laundering, and corruption.

This report provides detailed evidence and first-hand information regarding jaguar trafficking and Environmental Crime Convergence within and between these networks. 

Download the report here: Unveiling the criminal networks behind jaguar trafficking in Suriname_ELI_IUCN NL-final

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We are former intelligence, law enforcement and security professionals.
We protect Wildlife and our Planet with intelligence-gathering operations and by investigating and exposing wildlife criminals worldwide, including poachers, traffickers, businessmen and corrupt government officials. Earth League International (former Elephant Action League) is a hybrid non-profit organization that merges the worlds of intelligence, investigation and conservation in service of wildlife and the people who protect it.