In this article brought to us by United Nations University, author Hannah McNeish wrote that according to a report by the United Nations and Interpol, “Illegal wildlife trade worth up to $213 billion dollars a year is funding organized crime, including global terror groups and militias.”
Ivory-trade has been documented to create a $400 million/year revenue that trickles to militias in East, Central and West Africa; illegal logging trade creates $100 billion in revenue that supports mafias, Islamist extremists and rebel movements; and African governments are losing at least $1.9 billion a year from charcoal to the benefit of criminals, including Somalia’s Al-Qaeda linked terror group al-Shabaab, earning up to $9 billion.
According to UNEP cheif Achim Steiner, these funds enable people to buy arms and put civil strife and conflict as parts of a transnational net world that operates across the globe. He said, “We can catch as many foot soldiers as we want. If we don’t address the kingpins of illegal trade and wildlife crime, we won’t stop it.”