TNRC Open secrets: Corruption in Free Trade and Special Economic Zones as an enabler for illegal wildlife trade

This paper presents three case studies that portray how Free Trade Zones (FTZ) and Special Economic Zones (SEZ) characteristics contribute both to Illegal wildlife trade and corruption, while also demonstrating that wildlife trafficking is merely an expression of the multiple illicit economies that can take place in FTZs/SEZs in the absence of adequate controls. These cases also demonstrate that the corrupt practices within these areas do not necessarily differ from other forms of corruption happening elsewhere in the country, region, or trade chain. Rather, what makes FTZs/SEZs particularly interesting for illicit trade is the additional layer of opaqueness and complexity that they pose for local authorities.

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