28-Mar-2017 @ 15:00
Emma McClarkin MEP is calling for future trade deals to include anti-corruption provisions to stop the money laundering and criminal activity associated with the illegal wildlife trade.
Ms McClarkin made the call at the Organisation for Economic Development’s (OECD) 5th task force meeting on countering illicit trade. The OECD’s task force goal is to foster international cooperation aimed at the reduction and deterrence of illicit trade. She was invited following the European Parliament’s significant backing of her report on using trade policy to prevent the criminal activity.
Conservative International Trade spokesman, Ms McClarkin, said: “Illegal wildlife trading is not just an environmental crime, within the illicit trade pyramid it is fourth only to drugs, people and firearms. It is estimated to be worth approximately €20 billion a year. That’s why to tackle illegal wildlife crime, we must also tackle its enabler, corruption."
“We must reinforce cross-border measures in order to identify and prevent money laundering associated with wildlife trafficking. That’s what my report, which the European Parliament strongly supported, advises the EU and the Member States to do. This is something that not only the EU needs to do but our partner countries as well.”
As part of her campaign, Ms McClarkin, also spoke to the World Custom’s Organisation (WCO) on Monday highlighting the importance of custom arrangements in stopping the illicit trade. In order to stop the trade, organisations such as WCO, OECD and the EU, as well as many others will be needed.
Ms McClarkin added: “Support from customs authorities is vital if we want to disrupt the transnational criminal networks that traffic wildlife."
“Cracking down on the illegal wildlife trade is more than protecting animals, it is going after a resourceful criminal network that threatens our own security. I am sure you will have seen the tragic story of a Rhino recently poached in a zoo in Paris. This is not a faraway problem. It is right here on our doorstep.”