Wildlife trafficking now an organized crime

May 26, 2022 12:10 pm

Participants of the Rapid Assessment discussion on Criminal Justice Response to Wildlife and Forest Crime in Fiji at the Holiday Inn in Suva.

The trafficking of wildlife is becoming recognized as a specialized area of organized crime and a significant threat to the environment.

Director of Environment, Sandeep Singh says criminal groups are using similar routes and techniques with which they smuggle illegal commodities to smuggle wildlife resources such as timber, coral and endangered species for the pet trade.

“Profits generated by trafficking in wildlife are used to finance other criminal activities and these crimes are often interlinked with corruption and economic crimes.”

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The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is organizing a national consultation to review findings on wildlife crimes and combating wildlife trafficking in the Pacific.

A rapid assessment is also underway in regards to the criminal justice response to wildlife and forest crime in Fiji.

Stakeholders from the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Forestry, Fiji Revenue and Customs Service, Ministry of Defense, and regional environmental organizations met today at the Holiday Inn in Suva to share their experiences and approaches to wildlife crime.