From 2012 to 2018, Dr. John Benson, a renowned Canadian forensic wildlife biologist, RCMP Inspector, and senior trainer and strategist with INTERPOL’s Wildlife Crime Unit, together with Dr. Kate Beckett, long term colleague, romantic partner, forensic wildlife biologist, and a senior Special Agent with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement and their team had been working with the Environmental Crime Team of INTERPOL’s Regional Bureau for East Africa in Nairobi, Kenya to assist in the apprehension of some of the most notorious poachers and wildlife traffickers in East Africa.
Prior to starting work on the new global INTERPOL initiative, Operation Thunderball, out of the Operations Coordination Centre at INTERPOL’s Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore, John Benson and his team were back in Nairobi in November 2018 at INTERPOL’s Regional Bureau for East Africa. There had been reports of a new wildlife trafficking syndicate operating out of the Kenyan coastal resort city of Malindi with ties to the Italian “‘Ndrangheta”, the Mafia-type organized crime network. John Benson and his team’s involvement in Operation Simba and the takedown of the African wildlife poaching and trafficking operations of the Italian ‘Ndrangheta’s Marincola Family was to become one of the most dangerous and deadly INTERPOL operations they had ever been part of. With their very survival in doubt after an undercover operation within the Marincola Family goes wrong, they must use all their law enforcement skills to eventually triumph and take down the notorious Mafia clan.