Methods & Trends

UNODC APG Wildlife Crime Report

31 July 2017

UNODC APG Wildlife Crime Report - Enhancing the Detection, Investigation and Disruption of Illicit Financial Flows from Wildlife Crime.

Wildlife crime poses a serious threat to thousands of species of plants and animals, which in some cases are being pushed to the brink of extinction. It is a global issue affecting almost every jurisdiction, either as a source, transit or destination for illegal wildlife products.

This report indicates the scale of the problem both regionally and globally, provides a range of case studies, key findings, recommendations and Good Practices that may assist jurisdictions to detect, investigate and disrupt of illicit financial flows from wildlife crime.

Of the 45 jurisdictions that responded to the survey, principal findings of the research included:

  • 86% of jurisdictions reported that they are affected by wildlife crime; however, 71% of jurisdictions do not regard wildlife crime to be a significant money laundering threat in their jurisdiction.

  • Only 26% of jurisdictions reported conducting any financial investigation into wildlife crimes, including financial investigations related to the predicate offence, asset forfeiture, or in pursuit of money laundering charges.

  • Inadequate legal frameworks and institutional arrangements create challenges for jurisdictions to ‘follow the money’.

  • 79% of jurisdictions reported that they do not include the financial intelligence unit (FIU) in a multi-agency approach to combat wildlife crime.

  • Of the wildlife crime cases reported in this study, only 11% were successfully prosecuted, only 7% received prison penalties, and only 1% resulted in serious prison penalties.

  • Alternative offences are rarely used to pursue wildlife crimes; and money laundering offences in particular are noticeably absent. Only 1% of wildlife crime cases were reported to have involved money laundering investigation, charges or prosecutions.

  • The majority of wildlife crime cases appear to start and end with the seizure of wildlife contraband, with only 11% of jurisdictions reporting that they have conducted further investigations into the wider criminal network beyond the poacher or courier.

  • International cooperation amongst law enforcement agencies is not a common practice to combat wildlife trafficking.

  • Asset forfeiture is under-utilised in wildlife crime cases.