Financial Action Proceedings Task Force Report on Illegal Wildlife Trade - Daily Current Affair Article for UPSC, IAS, Civil Services and State PCS Examinations


Financial Action Proceedings Task Force Report on Illegal Wildlife Trade - Daily Current Affair Article for UPSC, IAS, Civil Services and State PCS Examinations


Context

  • Recently a report on illegal wildlife trade has been given by the Financial Action Task Force. This is the first report of its kind.

Introduction

  • Market Value Estimates of Uncontrolled Unlawful Wildlife Trade (Smuggling)
  • Fish - between $ 4.2 billion and $ 9.5 billion per year - Wood $ 7 billion per year
  • Wildlife trafficking (excluding fisheries and timber) between $ 7.8 billion and $ 10 billion per year
  • Combining all these, illegal wildlife trafficking is the fourth largest illegal smuggling industry in the world after narcotics, human and fake currency.

What is the illegal wildlife trade?

  • Illegal Wildlife Trade is a major international organized crime in which there is illegal trade in living or dead wildlife or goods derived from them, which generates billions of criminal receipts each year.
  • In its first global report on the illegal wildlife trade, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) described it as a "global threat", including links with other organized crimes such as modern slavery, drug trafficking and the arms trade.

What are the effects of illegal wildlife trade :-

  • It gives rise to corruption,
  • Threatens biodiversity,
  • Has a significant negative impact on public health and economy.
  • To transfer, hide and justify their illegal wild receipts, wildlife smugglers use the loopholes present in our financial and indigenous areas, which not only make possible further wildlife crimes but also our financial integrity and Economic Sovereignty also suffers huge losses.

What is the Financial Action Task Force (Financial Action Task Force) trying to control such crimes and neutralize their negative effects?

  • The FATF (Financial Action Task Force) has released its first global report on the IWT.
  • It is based on FATF-Style Regional Bodies two of the supporting bodies of the Financial Action Task Force, actions by other international bodies, and recent initiatives and previous studies by the private sector. The findings in this report are based on the input of nearly 50 jurisdictions of the FATF Global Network as well as the expertise inherent in the private sector and civil society.

Salient Points:-

  • This study of the FATF assesses money laundering (ML) aspects of wildlife crimes, and demonstrates how jurisdictions should apply the FATF standards to combat IWT.
  • Illegal trade is estimated to generate up to $ 23 billion in revenue per year.
  • This study highlights that jurisdictions should see the income generated by the IWT (GDP) as a global threat, and not just as a problem for those jurisdictions Where wildlife is illegally obtained, transferred or sold.
  • Legitimate wildlife trade as well as other import-export types of businesses are often misused to transfer and hide illegal income, particularly from illegal wildlife offenses.
  • They also rely regularly on corruption, complex fraud and tax evasion.
  • Another major topic of this study is the increasing role of online marketplaces and mobile and social media-based payments to boost income from wildlife crimes.
  • These trends highlight the growing importance of a coordinated response from public authorities, the private sector, and civil society to identify and constrain financial flows from the IWT.
  • According to earlier studies, the FATF has found that despite the global impact of IWT, the IWT in many jurisdictions, despite the risks posing public and private sectors It has not been given priority to face the financial flow associated with IWT.
  • Jurisdictions often do not have the knowledge, legislative basis, and resources necessary to assess and counter threats.

Some suggested steps in the report:

  • To address these challenges, jurisdictions should consider implementing the following good practices during the study:
  • Prioritize dealing with financial flows related to risk of IWT.
  • Provide the necessary authority and tools to the agencies concerned to conduct a successful financial inquiry into the IWT.
  • Improving coordination between officers responsible for dealing with wildlife crimes and for conducting financial investigations to ensure officers exchange information more regularly and follow financial regulations.
  • Cooperate with other jurisdictions, relevant international organizations and the private sector to counter IWT.

Complex fraud and tax evasion:

  • The report states that in 2012, India amended the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, which had a price limit of - 30 lakh and above - previously applicable to wildlife trade bills.
  • During the study, 22 of the 45 countries involved in the study identified themselves as sources for wildlife crime, 18 as transit countries and 14 as destination countries. All but 9 countries were reported to be affected by risk from financial flows associated with trade, with the exception of most European countries.
  • According to the report, criminal syndicates are abusing the formal financial sector to increase income. Money is looted through cash deposits, under the guise of third party wire transfers through loans or payments, e-banking platforms, licensed money value transfer systems and banks. Accounts of innocent victims are also used and avoid detection of high-value payments.
  • Front companies, often associated with import-export industries, and shell firms are used for goods movement and trans-border money transfers. Another common trend, the report said, is the misuse of companies associated with the legal wildlife trade. Large-scale golden jackfruit may be trafficked in India "Other industries that may be more vulnerable to abuse include traditional medicine , Decoration and jewelery and fashion.

Conclusions:-

  • To prevent the internal security and economic sovereignty of the nation, it is necessary to stop such illegal trade. In such a situation, the world community will have to come together to solve this crisis which is a threat to the economic, security and environment.

General Studies Paper- III

  • Internal Security

Mains Question:-

  • Financial Action task force submittes a report on Illegal Wildlife Trade .Discuss the main receipts of the workforce report? Do you think such activities are a major source of financing terrorism?

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