Weak investigation, corruption fuelling wildlife crime - OECD

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - Failure to investigate and sanction corruption is helping the illegal trade in wildlife to flourish, according to a new report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), published as the two-day Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference started on Thursday in London.

Working with over 100 countries, the OECD is a global policy forum that promotes policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.

Strengthening governance and reducing corruption risks to tackle illegal wildlife trade. OECD said in a press statement on Thursday that corruption takes place at sourcing, transit and export of illegal wildlife and involves abuse of power in both the public and private sectors.

At the point of sourcing animals, it tends to be ad hoc, involving small sums of money and low-level officials.

During international transit and export, it is often systemic and pre-planned, involving larger sums of money and higher-level officers, OECD said.

Rangers, wildlife officials, police, military, investigators, prosecutors and magistrates are all vulnerable to corruption.

Yet, while Illegal wildlife seizures often lead to poaching or trafficking charges, they rarely lead to investigations of corrupt officials.

Anti-corruption is not a focus for NGOs working on illegal wildlife trade, and anti-corruption authorities are likewise not focused on wildlife trade.

The report provides a series of recommendations, including more cooperation between different agencies and across borders, and enhancing investigative capacities in police and prosecutors.
-0- PANA DJ/VAO 11Oct2018

11 october 2018 15:14:16

xhtml CSS