International police body Interpol on Wednesday said illegal wildlife traders turn to cyberspace to conduct illicit activities, urging more action by member countries to stop online illegal business and preserve endangered species.
A research report, the agency found "limited but clear evidence of criminals using the darknet to sell illicit wildlife products from critically endangered species such as rhino horn, elephant ivory and tiger parts and products."
Conducted between December 2016 and April 2017, the research found 21 advertisements which offered rhino horn products, ivory and tiger parts, with some of the ads dating back to 2015.
"Criminals will always seek to identify new areas to make a profit from their illicit activities and the darknet is no exception," said David Higgins, manager of Interpol's environmental security program.
"We need to ensure that law enforcement in member countries has the support and resources they need to tackle wildlife crime in both physical and virtual marketplaces to help protect our wildlife and our shared global biodiversity," he said.