|FATF President Marcus Pleyer
Message to the G7 on tackling environmental crime
Environmental crime is one of the most profitable criminal enterprises, generating around USD 110 to 281 billion in criminal gains each year. It covers a wide range of unlawful activities such as illegal logging, illegal wildlife trade and waste trafficking.
These activities can have far-reaching implications for the environment, economy, and public health and safety. The FATF is focussing on the link between environmental crime and money laundering. This work aims to raise awareness about the financial flows that fuel environmental crime and how they are laundered.
The work on environmental crime will build on earlier work by the FATF on how countries can combat money laundering from the illegal wildlife trade. The illegal wildlife trade is a major transnational organised crime, which generates billions of criminal proceeds each year. One of the most effective ways to identify the broader criminal networks, and take the profit out of this crime, is to follow the financial trails of wildlife traffickers. The FATF’s 2020 report highlighted the need for every country to assess their money laundering risks related to the illegal wildlife trade and to ensure that there is a robust legal framework to go after the finances of wildlife traffickers, and to pursue financial investigations.
FATF’s report on environmental crime is expected to be published in July 2021. FATF’s work on environmental crime, including the illegal wildlife trade, will also inform possible future policy development.
This study identifies the common methods used by wildlife traffickers to launder their money. It also highlights proposed actions that countries and the private sector can take to combat this trade.