By Elizabeth Hearst
The Duke of Cambridge has welcomed a report published by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) with the aim of ending the “illegal wildlife trade for good”.
This study’s main directive is to “provide guidance to countries on measures they can take to combat money laundering from the illegal wildlife trade”.
Praising the report Prince William said it was a “pivotal moment in the fight against the illegal wildlife trade”, and that the work done by FATF “will help authorities trace the finances of the transnational organised crime gangs that facilitate this abhorrent activity”.
The Duke of Cambridge, who spearheads the United for Wildlife Task Force together with the Royal Foundation has commended the report, adding: “ This will help to improve and co-ordinate the public and private sectors to detect, disrupt and prevent this crime”.
The money laundering and terrorism watchdog, FATF, has warned that the illegal wildlife trade is worth between $7bn and $23bn annually, and have called for greater efforts to be made to trace and combat financial flows from this practice.
“Wildlife traffickers exploit weaknesses in the financial and non-financial sectors, to move, hide and launder their proceeds, enabling further wildlife crimes and damaging financial integrity,” according to FATF.
“One of the most effective ways to identify the broader criminal network and take the profit out of the crime, is to follow the financial trails of wildlife trackers,” added the FATF.
This global report draws input and case studies from over 50 countries from the FATF Global Network and observers, as well as civil society and the United for Wildlife Financial Task Force and is the first of its kind published by FATF.