An international operation against the illegal trade of reptiles has resulted in hundreds of seizures and 12 arrests in the EU, according to information provided by Europol, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation.

A total of 4,419 live animals, including 2,703 turtles and tortoises, 1,059 snakes, 512 lizards and geckos and 20 crocodiles and alligators have been saved during the latest operations. Europol also seized several caches of handbags, wallets, watchstraps, medicines and taxidermies derived from reptiles were also seized.

Europol coordinated information sharing between national authorities, which led to the identification of almost 200 suspects worldwide as a part of “Operation Blizzard” which is a part of the EU’s campaign to thwart environmental crimes.