National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime in Norway

GPS Data Analysis Convicts 5 Animal Poachers

The Case

On February 15, 2014, a group of men attempted to shoot three wolves in a wolf protection area in southeast Norway. The attempt was well-planned and executed over the course of that weekend, but had ultimately failed. After two months of concealed investigation, the men were brought in for questioning.

The Challenge

The Norwegian Police for Environmental Crime had been investigating this group throughout the previous year. From this failed attempt on the wolves, the men’s GPS units were confiscated, and the GPS data was crucial in showing how the attempted crime was carried out.

How GeoTime Helped

While most of the case could be built around the contents of their communications with one another, it was the GPS data that demonstrated the group’s conspiracy and attempt to harm the wolves. Using GeoTime, the Norwegian Police analyzed data from multiple GPS units and were able to see an animation of how these individuals worked together as a group, traveling together and setting up to ambush the endangered animals.

GeoTime Features Used

  • Data layering
  • Automated analysis patterns
  • Video and PowerPoint presentation

The Result

Five of the six accused were convicted. For at least one of the men, the GeoTime analysis of the GPS data units was crucial for his conviction.

Screenshot - Three animal poachers stationed in place while the fourth suspect followed the animals

The mapped GPS data showed how one suspect (C2 – pink) followed the wolves on terrain while the rest of the group were stationed on trails, waiting for the wolves to cross the road. In this screenshot, one of the stationed suspects (B1 – Yellow) had crossed into the terrain towards C2. These coordinated movements show that the C2 pink suspect had driven the wolves into the line of fire of his accomplice B1.