TT Talk – Wildlife crime

In the latest issue of TT Talk the transport logistics business noted that trafficking of wildlife was a global issue prevalent across all modes of transport and in every region of the world. It said that wildlife crime represented one of the world’s largest illicit markets. Poverty, armed conflict, corruption and lack of enforcement all exacerbated the issue, resulting in global implications for national security, the environment, people and communities.

TT said that there was a heavy reliance on legitimate transportation systems, including both sea and air, to move illegal wildlife goods from source to their intended markets. In some instances, traffickers would take irregular routes in order to obscure the country of origin.

TT noted that there were a number of associated risks for supply chain stakeholders where wildlife trafficking is concerned, including reputational, legal, and health and safety risks.

A number of well-established organisations such as TRAFFIC and the ROUTES Partnership have focused on tracking the movement of wildlife goods and cracking down on groups undertaking this activity. Seizures of such shipments continued to increase as the modus operandi and the routes of the trade are better understood.

Where seizures were made there was an increased likelihood of abandonment of goods, resulting in cost and disruption for legitimate operators. “Furthermore, in seeking to raise awareness of this illicit trade, interested organizations will typically make any seizure very public, exposing carriers, terminals and logistics operators to the substantial reputational risk associated with this trade”, said TT.

When placing this type of cargo into the supply chain they were invariably misdeclared or entirely undeclared. The shipper would be unlikely to have a sound knowledge when it comes to the low-value commodities within which these goods were hidden, therefore incorrect or incomplete customs declarations and shipping information were often supplied, innocently, by the shipper.

Claire Beastall, Training and Capacity Building Coordinator (Southeast Asia), TRAFFIC, helped in the production of the article.