Money Laundering and the Illegal Wildlife Trade: Financial Action at Last?


August 28 2019

A proposal by the incoming president of the Financial Action Task Force presents an unprecedented opportunity to tackle the illegal wildlife trade by hitting at its main driver: financial gain.

Attention to the financial dimensions of the illegal wildlife trade (IWT) has steadily increased in recent years. The London IWT Conference in October 2018 was the latest global event to call for an increase in the use of financial investigation techniques to tackle IWT. NGOs such as the Wildlife Justice Commission (this author is a member of WJC’s Council), the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and TRAFFIC have conducted specific IWT financial investigations; and research reports such as those produced by this author and his colleagues and UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering have received a higher profile.