Private sector ‘key in fighting illegal wildlife trade’ (Tanzania)

By May 3, 2021Wildlife Trade

Elephant tusks. Image: As originally published by The Citizen

Hellen Nachilongo, The Citizen | April 29, 2021

Read the original story here.

Involving private sector and financial institutions is the best tactic that could be used to help investigate and prosecute syndicate leaders (Kingpins) involved in illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) and money laundering.

African Wildlife Foundation senior manager and wildlife law enforcement species Didi Wamukoya said most of the culprits associate themselves with shell, front companies and banks to operate their business thus making it difficult to investigate and prosecute them.

“Normally the syndicate leader operates in such institutions, to access loans from financial institutions, mix funds for different purposes, pay taxes and sometimes they get witnesses, “she said.

Ms Wamukoya made the remarks yesterday over the webinar on tips for journalists investigating illegal wildlife trade in East Africa.

The webinar brought East Africa journalists, sought to show ways in which investigative reporters can expose the connection between money laundering and environmental crime.

She stressed that IWT traffickers were becoming smarter and everyday which mostly prohibit investigative organs to prosecute the criminals.

Senior State Attorney Wankyo Simon said the effective use of money laundering law has proved successful in arresting criminals in Tanzania.

“The year 2017 when we started using money laundering law, we have managed to seize several properties including motor vehicles that are connected to the nature of offences that we believe must be involved in money laundering,” Mr Simon said.

He added that in a few weeks to come the state will be giving verdicts on money laundering related cases.