TNRC External Resource | Convergence of wildlife crime and other forms of transnational organized crime in eastern and southern Africa

Convergence of wildlife crime and other forms of transnational organized crime in Eastern and Southern Africa

As wildlife crime has increased in seriousness and profitability, it has also developed corrupt support systems and associated illicit financial flows. This report aims to analyze these dynamics and the breadth of crime convergence related to the illegal wildlife trade (IWT) in Eastern and Southern Africa, as well as where on the wildlife crime value chain convergence is happening.

This report finds that corruption and money laundering are fundamental to organized crime. Thus, investigating and mitigating these should be integrated into all investigations. Where convergence is taking place, identifying corruption and the corrupt facilitators presents an opportunity to better understand other crime types and networks.

Furthermore, corruption is not only used to conduct crimes, but also to protect organized criminal groups, and it is often employed to derail investigations and prosecutions. This means that more needs to be done to identify, anticipate and manage the risks of corruption for investigations and prosecutions, as well as to build resilience to corruption within criminal justice organizations.

Overall, this report serves as a valuable tool for conservation practitioners seeking to understand the complex dynamics of the illegal wildlife trade and develop effective strategies to integrate into their programming. By highlighting the link between corruption and wildlife crime, this report provides important insights into the broader challenges of combating organized crime and ways to anticipate and manage the risks of corruption that facilitate such crimes.

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Image attribution: © / Jen Guyton / WWF; © Brian J. Skerry / National Geographic Stock / WWF; © Georgina Goodwin / Shoot The Earth / WWF-UK; © Hkun Lat / WWF-Aus