Posts Tagged ‘crime’

Wildlife Crime Police Expand Scope

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Here’s some new developments in international environmental law enforcement worth paying attention to.  First, earlier this month INTERPOL’s General Assembly voted unanimously in favor of a resolution encouraging greater global policing efforts to stem environmental crimes.  This may sound like diplo-speak for more nothing, but it is a necessary step to Interpol’s Environmental Programme moving forward.  I was at Interpol HQ for talks in Lyon, France earlier this year.  The program has a lot of potential and offers a fairly neutral forum to address transnational environmental crime, but it is so poorly funded it relies on a couple of NGOs for its budget.

The second development is the new International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) “eye-kwik,” which will bring together INTERPOL, CITES, World Customs, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Bank into a new effort.  These are key international institutions related to wildlife and crime but ICCWC is yet another committee and the word “wildlife” tends to yield next to no money/government commitment when it comes to crime.  It remains to be seen what the group will produce.  An alternative might have been to step up authority for INTERPOL’s environmental programme without creating a new entity. 

ICWCC is touted in this linked story as an alternative to ASEAN’s wildlife enforcement network, criticized here for not taking down the real Mister Bigs of SE Asia.  WEN could certainly do more, but it has made progress.  And that is more than most wildlife trade bodies can say. 

Check out Azrina Abdullah’s excellent comment below:

Seized Wildlife Trafficker Notebooks Give Unique Insight

Friday, October 29th, 2010

“Seized Notebooks give unique insight” at first when I read these words in the following press release from TRAFFIC-Malaysia I thought, Wow!  I’m about to read what the Malaysian government discovered from its recent seizure of Anson Wong’s laptop and cell phones. 

Or, I’m about to read the results of the Malaysian anti-corruption agency’s recent raid on wildlife department officer Misliah Mohd. Basir’s office (they seized a computer, too). 

Instead I read this fascinating window on the pangolin trade–all from a single syndicate’s notebooks.  The government of Sabah operates independently of mainland Malaysia’s government on many wildife issues.  That is why we can have such a good example of NGO-Government cooperation on the one hand and such poor progress on opening up Anson and Misliah’s files to public scrutiny, on the other.  Peninsular Malaysians should demand the same transparency as on Sabah. 

Seized notebooks give unique insight into scale of illicit pangolin trade
 
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 28th October 2010—Stunning figures in traffickers’ logbooks indicate massive illegal capture and trade in endangered pangolins or scaly anteaters, finds a new TRAFFIC study.

A Preliminary Assessment of Pangolin Trade in Sabah analyses logbooks seized following a raid by Sabah Wildlife Department in 2009 on a syndicate’s pangolin trafficking premises in Kota Kinabalu, the capital city of the Malaysian State of Sabah in north Borneo.
 
The logbooks reveal that 22,200 pangolins were killed and 834.4 kg of pangolin scales were supplied to the syndicate between May 2007 and January 2009…

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