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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.
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06 September 2018

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Wildlife crime: global seizures and arrests in transcontinental operation


21 March 2018

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12 March 2018

Nepal and India police cooperation via INTERPOL nets wildlife fugitive


08 August 2017

Hazardous materials seized in largest global operation against illegal waste


30 June 2017

INTERPOL launches first digital forensics training course for wildlife investigations


16 June 2017

INTERPOL assisting wildlife investigators use firearms tracing to identify poachers


15 June 2017

Multi-billion dollar forestry crime to be treated as white collar crime – INTERPOL


14 June 2017

Research identifies illegal wildlife trade on the Darknet


04 May 2017

INTERPOL warning on human trafficking links to the fishing industry


20 March 2017

INTERPOL issues Red Notice against suspected ivory smuggler


02 March 2017

Anti-wildlife trafficking operation results in global arrests and seizures


20 January 2017

INTERPOL launches new project targeting African-Asian wildlife crime links


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