Featured Publication, June 2019


Environmental crime is a transnational organized crime which has diversified to become one of the world’s largest crime sectors. As with all forms of crime, collaboration is the backbone to fighting this multifaceted, global threat.

With the black market for illegal wildlife products worth up to USD 20 billion per year, poaching and the illegal wildlife trade continue to grow and are pushing many species to the brink of extinction. Transnational organized criminal groups exploit wildlife across the globe, threatening protected wildlife species, affecting vulnerable communities, undermining national economies and jeopardizing food security. These criminals act along the entire supply chain, exploiting institutional and legislative weaknesses. Corruption, fraud, legal loopholes, weak controls, porous borders and inefficient customs procedures undermine the rule of law and good governance.

Wildlife crime is often perpetrated in connection with other crimes such as tax evasion, fraud, money laundering and firearms trafficking. Document fraud in particular is widely utilized to illegally obtain international permits regulated by international conventions. In addition, wildlife trafficking networks – across land, sea and air – are also commonly used to smuggle other illicit commodities, such as drugs and weapons. These links to other crime types further damage the environment as well as social and economic stability, increasing the urgent need for law enforcement action.

INTERPOL Environmental Security Programme (ENS) is working to prevent and deter environmental crimes through enhanced law enforcement cooperation. Its mission is to assist member countries enforce national and international laws and treaties effectively, and help law enforcement implement national, regional and global environmental policy.

This report aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the work INTERPOL has done against global wildlife crime, including operational, tactical and analytical activities undertaken in cooperation with our 194 member countries and strategic partners.

You can read the full report here.

Author: DidiWamukoya

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