KIELTYKA GLADKOWSKI KG LEGAL took part in the webinar, organised by GRC World Forums, on the spotlight on environmental crimes – one of the 22 crimes named in 6AMLD’s expanded list of predicate offences. During the webinar, the panel of experienced practitioners offered practical examples of how to use open source intelligence (OSINT) to investigate and understand environmental crimes.
What are environmental crimes?
Environmental offences cover a whole range of activities that violate environmental legislation and cause significant harm or risk to the environment, human health or both.
These offences may include, but are not limited to:
Trade in waste is an indication of the scale of the problem. Inherent in this area of crime is the use of legitimate business structures by criminal actors. In many cases it is not possible to distinguish between criminal actors and legitimate businesses. As part of these developments, waste trafficking criminals have moved to a more complex business model of illegal waste management, rather than simply illegally dumping waste.
The topics raised during the webinar focused on wildlife trafficking and the resulting drastic reduction of wildlife species. Practical examples of using open source intelligence (OSINT) to investigate and understand crimes such as wildlife trafficking were presented. The impact that open source intelligence has on providing financial crime investigation teams with the right tools to prevent environmental crime was also discussed. The Wildlifetradeportal.org website was also presented where information on the number of crimes committed against a particular animal species in selected years and in a selected country can be easily found. The information posted on the website is rated according to a suitably adapted source, which makes it possible to skilfully filter the information and check its reliability. Each piece of information on the Portal has been cleaned, checked and deemed reliable enough to be posted. The speakers were Stuart Clarke, board member of Helping Rhinos, a charity fighting to save rhinos from extinction; Antony Bagotta, who has managed TRAFFIC’s Wildlife Trade Information System (WiTIS) since 2018, and John E. Scanlon AO, the Chair of the Global Initiative to End Wildlife Crime and Chair of the UK Government’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund.