AUSTRAC has published new guidelines to fight financial crimes linked with illegal wildlife trafficking in Australia. This financial crime guide was created by AUSTRAC through a collaboration between the Fintel Alliance and the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment.
The guidelines take note of the lessons learnt from previously known cases of wildlife trafficking. They aim to help businesses detect and report to AUSTRAC any suspicious financial activity related to the wildlife trafficking trade. Over the years, this illegal business has been adopted by several organised criminal syndicates. It leads to an annual revenue of over $23 billion across the world.
Native reptiles are the most trafficked live animal in Australia, often sold at up to 28 times greater prices in the international black-market than when sold legally. Indeed, these reptiles are trafficked for $700 – $14,000, as against the legal sale price of $70 – $300. Moreover, the conditions under which these animals are trafficked are often lethal to them.
Crime syndicates misuse Australian financial institutions to conceal their illegal transactions. Thus, AUSTRAC has identified the private sector as being critical to the process of combating wildlife trafficking in Australia.
Source name: AUSTRAC