Combating Financial Crime and Illegal Wildlife Trade

Forensic & Litigation Consulting | Financial Services

January 15, 2020


Wild animals are being killed and butchered in their millions and sold around the world for their horns, teeth and other body parts. Financial institutions, working with law enforcement and other organisations, have a crucial role to play in disrupting the financial flows associated with this awful business by implementing sufficient anti-money laundering mechanisms into place.

The statistics are shocking. Illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth between $7bn and $23bn a year, according to a 2016 joint report from the UN Environment Programme and Interpol. That makes it the world’s fourth most lucrative trafficking industry after drugs, humans and weapons.

The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), a leading campaigner against this unpleasant business, outlines what it means for the animals involved. There was a 30% decline in the African savannah elephant population between 2007 and 2014, most of which were slaughtered for ivory.

The Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) is the fourth most lucrative trafficking industry after drugs, human and weapons. Charity organisations, working together globally with financial institutions and their compliance departments, governments and the FATF have made it a priority to stop IWT, estimated to be worth billions.

This article discusses the current state of the IWT and what is being done to combat this terrible crime supported through money laundering, channeling its proceeds though the global financial system and used to fund other crimes and terrorism.

More Info

Share this page