Paper Launch - Follow the Money: Using Financial Investigation to Combat Wildlife Crime
The launch of a RUSI Occasional Paper exploring financial dimensions of wildlife crime, and the need to disrupt the financial networks of those engaged in this crime.
A surge in poaching and wildlife trafficking is threatening to decimate endangered species worldwide. Efforts to disrupt this activity have been far-reaching, however many fail to recognise much transnational wildlife crime for what it is: serious, organised crime on an industrial scale, driven by the profit motive.
The failure to recognise the financial dimensions of wildlife crime has impeded efforts to tackle the problem across source, transit and destination states. For other crime types, financial investigation is viewed as central to identifying not only the individual criminal but also their network of facilitators. Yet where wildlife crime is concerned, financial investigation is not employed on anything approaching a systematic basis. Too often, seizures of wildlife products are seen as a ‘success’, with parallel efforts to ‘follow the money’ rarely undertaken.
This new RUSI Occasional Paper is based on research in East Africa and across the globe, funded by the UK Government’s IWT Challenge Fund. It advocates for greater use of financial tools to disrupt the accomplices, facilitators and support networks of those engaged in this crime.
The event will begin with a presentation on this new RUSI Occasional Paper, followed by panellist comments and audience Q&A.
Panellists will include:
- Emma McClarkin, MEP
- Mary Rice, Executive Director, Environmental Investigation Agency
- Cathy Haenlein, Research Fellow in Serious and Organised Crime, RUSI
- Tom Keatinge, Director of the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies, RUSI
This report is dedicated to the memory of Wayne Lotter of PAMS Foundation who worked tirelessly throughout his life to protect the wildlife of Africa, and particularly of Tanzania.