Wildlife trafficking and unsustainable trade in wildlife commodities are causing huge declines in most wildlife species. There is need to conserve wildlife and the ecosystem, hence illegal wildlife trade by these organised criminal syndicates should be identified, prevented, and prosecuted at every opportunity. To achieve this, cross-sector partnerships are important in ensuring that the process is thorough and efficient.
Against this backdrop, AGA-Africa Programme in collaboration with the Financial Intelligence Centre, South Africa, held a two-day webinar on Illegal Wildlife Trade from 22nd – 23rd July, 2021.
The webinar was aimed at providing the participants with an in-depth knowledge on how to plan a financial investigation into a wildlife trafficking syndicate, how to link illegal proceeds to predicate crimes in the illegal wildlife trade as a basis for asset forfeiture as well as proving a critical insight on how to “follow-the money” to identify the higher-level members of illegal wildlife trade networks and supply chains.
The webinar was officially opened by Kim Robinson, AGA-Africa Programme Country Coordinator for South Africa with the keynote address delivered by Advocate Xolisile Khanyile, Director, Financial Intelligence Centre, South Africa.
The webinar sessions were ably facilitated by John Cruden, Principal, Beveridge and Diamond (Former Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, US Department of Justice), Maxwell Ntuthuko Mashiyane, Senior Analyst, Monitoring and Analysis Division, Financial Intelligence Centre, South Africa, Gerald Byleveld, Head, Financial Crime Compliance and Group Money Laundering Reporting Officer, Investec, Shawn Karns, Criminal Investigator & President, WITA, Stephanie Durno Karns, Wildlife Biologist & Project Coordinator, WITA, and Jim Karani, Wildlife Crime Consultant and General Counsel, Lawyers For Animal Protection In Africa.
The webinar was moderated by Lize van Schoor, Senior Legal & Policy Advisor, Financial Intelligence Centre, and Pieter Smit, Executive Manager, Financial Intelligence Centre, South Africa.
AGA-Africa Programme Country Coordinator for South Africa Kim Robinson brought the successful two-day webinar to a close.