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To fight wildlife crime, experts say 'follow the money'

FILE - In this Aug. 31, 2017, file photo, a customs official displays one of the 136 illegal pangolins it seized, during a press conference at the Cus...
FILE - In this Aug. 26, 2015, file photo, officials arrange seized elephant tusks to be displayed before destruction in Bangkok, Thailand. With wildli...
FILE - In this March 14, 2017, file photo, customs officers display seized rhino horns during a press conference at the  Suvarnabhumi airport, Bangkok...

FILE - In this Aug. 31, 2017, file photo, a customs official displays one of the 136 illegal pangolins it seized, during a press conference at the Cus...

FILE - In this Aug. 26, 2015, file photo, officials arrange seized elephant tusks to be displayed before destruction in Bangkok, Thailand. With wildli...

FILE - In this March 14, 2017, file photo, customs officers display seized rhino horns during a press conference at the Suvarnabhumi airport, Bangkok...

BANGKOK (AP) — With wildlife trafficking escalating worldwide, some countries are starting to "follow the money" in an effort to track down the kingpins financing crime rings.

The United Nations urged the world's countries this week to adopt laws that allow wildlife crimes to be investigated by money laundering agents who can have assets seized.

Anti-trafficking experts say it is now urgent for law enforcement agents to adopt tools commonly used to fight drug lords and other crime kingpins, as criminal gangs are increasingly turning to illicit wildlife trades.

A new report by the Royal United Services Institute think tank suggests suspicious transactions and bank clients can be "red flagged" for financial intelligence units to monitor and investigate, and criminal suspect watch lists can be shared between agencies and countries.


Updated : 2021-06-15 19:12 GMT+08:00