Rapid Reference Guide - Thailand

A Practical Tool for Fighting Wildlife Crime

Photo by Gautam Arora


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Wildlife crime is increasingly an issue of national and international concern with its links to transnational organized criminal networks often converging with other crimes such as weapons trade, human trafficking, and money laundering. The criminal justice system in Thailand can deter wildlife crimes through the successful prosecution of criminals involved in wildlife trafficking and other related crimes.

What is the Rapid Reference Guide and who is it for?

The Rapid Reference Guide (RRG) contains brief descriptions of all specialized laws/regulations as well as ancillary statutes, such as anti-money laundering, tax evasion and anti-corruption. The Thai RRG is designed to help investigators, case managers and prosecutors build an evidential case against those accused of wildlife and related crimes.  It is primarily a tool for prosecutors and wildlife crime investigators in Thailand, but is also an important reference for the broader law enforcement community conservation stakeholders working together to combat nature crimes and bring criminals to justice. The RRG serves government agencies including the Office of the Attorney General, Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, Royal Thai Police, Customs, Anti-Money Laundering Office, and the Office of the National Security Council. Other important end-users include international organizations and NGOS supporting law enforcement efforts, as well as academic institutions providing instruction on legal issues related to wildlife crime.

How was the Rapid Reference Guide Developed?

The development of the Rapid Reference Guide was led by Thailand’s Office of the Attorney General with support from USAID Wildlife Asia, but is the culmination of in-depth consultations with key Thai law enforcement agencies including the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, Royal Thai Police Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division, Royal Thai Customs Department, Anti-Money Laundering Office, and the Office of the National Security Council. WWF and Freeland also provided support in developing the Guide.

Why is the Rapid Reference Guide Important?

Transnational organized crime threatens wildlife populations, and the activities of criminal networks fuel global corruption, undermine the rule of law, and harm local communities. The Rapid Reference Guide helps to administer criminal justice, enforce the law, and pursue organizational excellence in the fight against wildlife crime. The tool helps investigators and prosecutors conduct proceedings against criminals, and is applicable at both national and provincial levels. It further serves to encourage cooperation and collaboration among law enforcement, especially where there is an international element to the crimes in question. Strengthening partnerships to enhance the flow of information and share resources is critical to disrupting global criminal syndicates responsible for trafficking in highly lucrative illegal wildlife products such as elephant ivory, rhino horn, pangolin meat and scales, and tiger products. 

About the Office of the Attorney General, Thailand

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is the main authority responsible for conducting prosecutions and trials in Thailand. It is an independent agency, responding directly to the Prime Minister. The OAG has four main authorities and functions, namely: Criminal justice administration; Safeguarding of national interests; Civil rights protection, including legal aid provision; and International cooperation in criminal matters. Organizationally, the OAG is divided into two main areas, the central offices in Bangkok and the regional offices in the provinces. Both the central an regional offices have a mandate to prosecute environmental crimes including wildlife crimes committed within their jurisdictions.