USAID joins workshop on financial investigations in wildlife and forestry crimes

On March 11 and 12, in Bangkok, USAID Wildlife Asia participated in a panel discussion on building partnerships with NGOs at a workshop on financial investigations in wildlife and forestry crime organized by the Egmont Center for Excellence and Leadership (ECOFEL) and hosted by the Anti-Money Laundering Office of the Royal Thai Government.

The Egmont Group is a network of 164 national Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) that provide a platform for the secure exchange of expertise and financial intelligence to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The workshop included members of the Egmont FIUs in the region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, CITES Secretariat, UNODC, INTERPOL, and select NGO partners. The workshop is part of ECOFEL’s research to identify key trends and patterns related to the laundering of wildlife crime proceeds and efforts to foster partnerships between FIUs, environmental agencies, the private sector, and reporting entities (e.g. commercial banks and other financial institutions). So what? As a major transnational crime, the illegal wildlife trade contributes to significant illicit financial flows. Forging partnerships between FIUs and the range of counter-wildlife trafficking stakeholders from the public and private sectors can improve the tackling of money-laundering crimes, a key mechanism to reducing the illegal wildlife trade.