Interagency Collaboration and Combating Wildlife Crime

  • Mariya Polner
  • Daniel Moell
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Green Criminology book series (PSGC)


During the last decade the illegal wildlife trade reached unprecedented levels internationally. Due to its covert nature, there are different methodologies to estimate its volumes and magnitude in monetary terms. Estimates from Global Financial Integrity, INTERPOL, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), to name a few, range from 7 to 23 billion US dollars annually (Haken, 2011; Nellemann et al., 2014). This makes illegal wildlife trade a highly lucrative business along with and in the same magnitude as the trafficking in drugs, arms, and human beings. However, unlike illegal wildlife trade, the last three cited categories are deemed serious crimes, while the illegal wildlife trade is frequently considered to be a soft crime, meaning that it is regarded as a low-risk enterprise with high gains where, even in cases of apprehension, penalties are weak (Nellemann et al., 2014). With the black market price of rhinoceros horns fetching approximately 60,000 US dollars per kilogram, which is almost twice the price of gold and platinum, this trade is more profitable and less risky than the trafficking of narcotics.


Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Criminal Group Environmental Crime Illegal Trade Wildlife Crime 
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© World Customs Organization 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mariya Polner
  • Daniel Moell

There are no affiliations available

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