Anti-financial crime practitioners know that the illicit trade in wildlife has become a major source of illicit funds in the global criminal economy. But what do practitioners know about how the criminals conduct their business? 

In comparison to illicit activities such as drugs and human trafficking, the modus operandi of illicit wildlife traders is much less well-known. There are good reasons for this, of course, given the relative immaturity of the international effort to tackle the problem. But even so, we are learning – slowly – about how the wildlife traffickers operate.

In this presentation, Araluen Schunmann, Director of the Pangolin Crisis Fund for the Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN), will explore how the trade works, providing insights into the international supply chain for wildlife, the demand and supply that drive the illegal market, and the important role that corruption plays in enabling the trade.

She will also explore how law enforcement agencies and NGOs seek to investigate these crimes, while providing a frank assessment of the roadblocks they face.

What good can a SAR do against a sophisticated international network, and what prospects are there for the investigation and prosecution of traffickers at the top of the criminal organisations, rather than lower-level operatives who facilitate the trade on a day-to-day basis? Providing a balanced view of where we are in the fight, the presentation will not only explore emerging strategies for tackling the trade, but also address what else will need to change for the international community to have a significant impact.

Presented by Araluen Schunmann, Director of the Pangolin Crisis Fund, ‎Wildlife Conservation Network

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