The world’s largest police organization, INTERPOL has published a report examining the nature of “crime convergence” within the context of environmental crime, where it is becoming increasingly apparent and complex. INTERPOL brings together 190 member countries. Its primary role is to assist law enforcement agencies around the world in combating all forms of transnational crime and terrorism.
In the report, INTERPOL’s Environmental Security Sub-Directorate also discusses challenges as well as the opportunities of these crimes to law enforcement.
This report makes a number of suggestions on how agencies can better respond to convergence in transnational and national operations. In doing so, it promotes an integrated multi-disciplined and multi-agency law enforcement approach that is both strategic and operational in nature. The report concludes with a number of practical strategies for consideration by enforcement agencies.
INTERPOL describe environmental crime as 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. »
« Environmental crime is not restricted by borders, and can affect a nation’s economy, security and even its existence, » argues INTERPOL. « 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. »