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Environmental crime

Environmental crime is a serious and growing international problem, and one which takes many different forms.

Broadly speaking, wildlife crime is the illegal exploitation of the world’s wild flora and fauna, while pollution crime is the trade and disposal of waste and hazardous substances in contravention of national and international laws.

In addition to these clear and present crimes, new types of environmental crime are emerging, such as carbon trade and water management crime.

Organized criminal networks

Environmental crime is not restricted by borders, and can affect a nation’s economy, security and even its existence.

A significant proportion of both wildlife and pollution crime is carried out by organized criminal networks, drawn by the low risk and high profit nature of these types of crime.

The same routes used to smuggle wildlife across countries and continents are often used to smuggle weapons, drugs and people. Indeed, environmental crime often occurs hand in hand with other offences such as passport fraud, corruption, money laundering and murder.

INTERPOL's response

In today’s global economy there is a need for an international strategy to deal with this type of crime. As the only organization with a mandate to share and process criminal information globally, INTERPOL is uniquely qualified to lead these efforts.

At INTERPOL, we carry out the following activities:

  • Leading global and regional operations to dismantle the criminal networks behind environmental crime using intelligence-driven investigations;
  • Coordinating and developing international law enforcement best practice manuals, guides and other resources;
  • Providing environmental law enforcement agencies with access to INTERPOL tools and services by enhancing their links with INTERPOL National Central Bureaus;
  • Working with the Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Committee to shape strategy and direction.
News
31 August 2015

INTERPOL-coordinated EU project outlines roadmap against unregulated e-waste


25 August 2015

INTERPOL meeting in Singapore gathers fisheries investigators


21 August 2015

INTERPOL’s Project Leaf looks to boost efforts against forestry crime in Asia and East Africa


19 August 2015

Transnational fisheries investigations focus of INTERPOL trainings in Southeast Asia


07 August 2015

INTERPOL hosts meetings on forestry and fisheries crime in Central and South America


29 July 2015

On Global Tiger Day, INTERPOL commends member country efforts to protect the species


28 July 2015

Elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn trafficking cases addressed at INTERPOL meeting


19 June 2015

Events in Jordan seek to boost environmental security in the region


05 June 2015

INTERPOL operation against wildlife trafficking marks World Environment Day


04 June 2015

Combating corruption in the forestry sector focus of INTERPOL training in Malaysia


20 May 2015

Sudan police host INTERPOL National Environment Security Seminar


03 March 2015

INTERPOL encourages global action on World Wildlife Day


23 February 2015

Zambia hosts INTERPOL training session against wildlife crime


16 February 2015

Nepal’s top wildlife criminal nabbed in Malaysia


12 February 2015

Uniting West African efforts to tackle illegal timber trade focus of INTERPOL workshop


15 January 2015

New Zealand requests INTERPOL Purple Notices to identify networks behind illegal fishing


24 December 2014

Tanzanian police hold suspected Kenyan ivory smuggling ring leader targeted in INTERPOL operation


19 December 2014

Hundreds of animals seized in operation targeting wildlife trafficking across Asia


22 December 2014

INTERPOL report on illegal bear trade highlights need for greater enforcement coordination


10 December 2014

Suspected illegal ivory trader targeted in INTERPOL operation arrested in Zambia


05 December 2014

Fisheries crime investigations supported by INTERPOL training


05 December 2014

INTERPOL holds wildlife crime training in Botswana


27 November 2014

INTERPOL environmental working group meetings enhance collaboration


21 November 2014

INTERPOL holds training courses to tackle forest crime in South America


17 November 2014

INTERPOL seeks public assistance to locate environmental crime fugitives in global operation


13 November 2014

From the crime scene to the courtroom: ICCWC release Guidelines on ivory


24 October 2014

INTERPOL holds regional wildlife enforcement training in East Africa


07 October 2014

INTERPOL announces formation of dedicated environmental crime team in Africa


19 September 2014

INTERPOL holds wildlife crime training in Namibia


31 August 2014

Combating wildlife crime in South Asia focus of Nepal meeting


19 August 2014

Rebuilding police capabilities focus of INTERPOL Chief visit to Central African Republic


25 July 2014

Trade in illegal timber target of INTERPOL and WCO-supported operation in Peru


30 June 2014

Environment Canada and INTERPOL unite to fight pollution crimes


26 June 2014

Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda unite efforts to combat illegal timber trade in East Africa


24 June 2014

Illegal trade in wildlife and timber products finances criminal and militia groups, threatening security and sustainable development


11 June 2014

French environmental champion visits INTERPOL to advance common efforts to protect the planet


05 June 2014

Police and public unite behind INTERPOL campaign to #TurnBackCrime


02 June 2014

INTERPOL chief joint mission to Guinea Bissau with UN Special Representative for West Africa focuses on law enforcement capacity


03 April 2014

INTERPOL report highlights need for greater operational response to preserve tigers


26 March 2014

First e-learning tool launched to prevent illegal trade in hazardous chemicals and waste


21 March 2014

Clear-cut crime scenes: Why the International Day of Forests matters


03 March 2014

On World Wildlife Day, INTERPOL renews commitment to environmental security


25 February 2014

Response to elephant poaching and ivory trafficking focus of new INTERPOL report


13 February 2014

Global cooperation vital against soaring wildlife crime, INTERPOL President tells London conference


11 February 2014

President of Guinea discusses security needs with INTERPOL Chief


10 February 2014

Togo role in fighting wildlife and transnational crime focus of INTERPOL Chief visit


30 January 2014

Themis Network visits INTERPOL to strengthen environmental security in Balkans


22 January 2014

South Africa requests INTERPOL Notices for vessels suspected of illegal fishing and crew abuse