Chinese banks must stop laundering money from wildlife traffickers
Activists fighting the illegal trade in endangered plant and animal species have called on Chinese banks to prevent wildlife traffickers from exploiting their networks to launder money. Otherwise, these banks are at risk of further scrutiny and pressure from foreign governments.
report this month, which found that the illegal wildlife trade generates between US $ 7 billion and US $ 23 billion each year – as much as the illegal trafficking of drugs, weapons and people – and it cannot be produce without financial crime and corruption.TRAFFIC, a non-governmental organization focused on the global trade in wild animals and plants, published a
“Since the Chinese banking sector is the largest in the world and given the scale of the illegal wildlife trade in Asia, Chinese banks have a key role to play,” and it would be in their best interests to ‘tackle this problem, according to the NGO. mentionned.
“For the many Chinese banks looking to expand internationally, it is essential to ensure that their anti-money laundering and anti-corruption systems meet the expectations of regulators in the jurisdictions in which they operate. “said TRAFFIC.
Although China has adopted tougher measures in recent years, the country remains a link for the illegal trade in everything from ivory to pangolins and other endangered species.
“Criminal barons involved in the illegal wildlife trade are often also involved in tax evasion, fraud, document forgery, money laundering and gun trafficking,” said the NGO. “The illicit wildlife trade trafficking supply chains are commonly used to smuggle other illicit products, such as drugs and weapons,” he added.
Just as they often use the same smuggling routes to move both illicit animal parts and other contraband, they use the same financial service providers to launder their money, according to the NGO statement.
“As the illegal wildlife trade shares so many characteristics with the financing of terrorism and the trafficking of drugs, humans and weapons, it is increasingly recognized that it must be combated using the same resources and strategies as those applied to these other illegal activities. TRAFFIC concluded.