26 photos that give an inside look at one of the biggest criminal enterprises on the planet

green turtle smuggling animals

The illegal wildlife trade is one of the largest criminal enterprises on the planet.

In fact, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime ranks wildlife trafficking alongside the drug trade, arms dealing, and human trafficking in terms of illicit profits, which are estimated to be between $8 and $10 billion a year.

Animals are sold as pets, consumed as delicacies, and used to create traditional medicines all around the globe.

Trafficking serves as one of the biggest sources of funding for organized crime.

Scroll through these photos for an inside look at animals that have been rescued.

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This Malayan sun bear was seized as part of a shipment of creatures estimated to be worth $20,000.

Black spotted freshwater turtles are pictured after they were seized in a raid in Karachi, Pakistan.

Authorities caught a man trying to smuggle 22 endangered yellow-crested cockatoos out of Indonesia inside water bottles.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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