On 28 June, FATF published a report saying that environmental crime – such as forestry crime, illegal mining and waste trafficking – is an extremely profitable criminal enterprise, generating billions in criminal gains each year. It fuels corruption, and converges with many other serious and organised crimes, such as tax fraud, drug trafficking and forced labour. The report identifies methods that criminals use to launder proceeds from environmental crime, but also tools that governments and private sector can apply to disrupt this activity. When properly implemented, it says, the FATF Recommendations provide effective tools to go after these illicit financial flows. It is said that, as a priority, countries should:
- Consider the risks of criminals misusing their domestic financial and non-financial sectors to conceal proceeds from environmental crimes. This extends to countries without domestic natural resources as FATF work shows that criminals hide proceeds from these crimes across regions, including trade and financial centres; and
- Countries must also strengthen inter-agency cooperation between financial investigators and environmental crime agencies, to detect and pursue financial investigations into environmental crimes. This includes working with foreign counterparts to share information, facilitate prosecutions and recover assets that are moved and held abroad.
It is also said that the private sector also has an important role in detecting financial flows from environmental crimes,; and the FATF study identifies good practices and risk indicators to help financial and non-financial sectors detect potential cases.
See also handouts available for crime authorities and the public and private sectors –
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