Brazil. A 2001 study, the first of its kind, indicates that animal trafficking is the third-most-lucrative form of global smuggling after drugs and arms. The report — issued in October by RENCTAS, the Portuguese acronym for the National Network to Fight Traffic in Wild Animals, a respected nonprofit environmental group based in Brasilia — estimates that animal smuggling has become a $15 billion-a-year industry worldwide, with Brazil accounting for the single largest source of animals, roughly 37 percent. Earlier this year, in fact, Brazilian federal police arrested 72 people on Wednesday on suspicion of running an international smuggling ring that traded half a million wild animals, including jaguars and monkeys, each year — the biggest single operation against animal smuggling in the past decade.
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