Are you unknowingly contributing to Money Laundering via the Illegal Trade of Wildlife?

July 28th, 2021    |   Related To: Private: Regional Compliance Consultants (RCC) Ltd

Here’s how consumer & business behaviour may be adding to the major transnational crime!

Are you aware if your consumer behaviour or your business’ practices may be contributing to the commerce of Environmental Crime?

Environmental Crime is “Any illegal act, which directly harms the environment”.*  Given that our natural resources are limited, these illegal activities involve the environment, wildlife, biodiversity and the sustainability of natural resources. There are small actions that you may be taking, which contribute to Environmental Crime right here in the Caribbean!

Pause for a second and consider this! Environmental Crime can surface in several forms and its talons are far reaching. Below we list a few of the obvious and not so obvious examples along with their Caribbean application.

  • Wildlife Crimes:
    • Illegal hunting of national & exotic birds
    • Hunting outside of open seasons

This includes the hunt, capture and consumption of (for example) the Scarlet Ibis, Cocorico, Howler monkeys and others.

  • The purchase of hides, bones and even jewellery made from protected animals.
  • Unregulated Fishing,
    • Trawler use
    • Unmonitored Fishing net sizes, Capture sizes and weights
  • Illegal Mining
    • Unreported and unregulated mining.

This includes unregulated quarrying, transport or processing of quarrying materials.

  • Pollution Crimes
    • Illegal dumping or use of illegal materials. This category also includes the use of ingredients of Ozone harming aerosols, fluids and chemicals.
  • Illegal Logging
    • Timber processing.
    • Stolen Timber

Examples of consumption includes the felling and use of teak and other controlled lumber.

  • Purchase and use of ingredients involved in animal testing & child labour.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in its June 2020 Report: ‘Money Laundering and the Illegal Wildlife Trade’, specifies that “Following the money trail is important in identifying and /crippling/ illegal trade”. While it may be unclear to you what stance the local authorities take to define, monitor and regulate environmental crime, it’s important to recognize that you can be playing a part without being fully aware.

If as a Financial Institution or Listed business, ethical business is a core value in your institution, and you are uncertain of your environmental crime footprint, or wish to define, manage and correct it – RCC can assist you. Feel free to reach us via the link in our profile.

Read the full Environmental Report from here:

*External Article Sources:


Wildlife Enforcement Monitoring System

Monitoring and Enforcement of Climate Policy

FATF Report : June 2020 : Money Laundering and the illegal Wildlife Trade