Environmental crime is the world’s fourth largest illicit enterprise after drug smuggling, counterfeiting and human trafficking. There are clear links to tax evasion and illicit financial flows.
According to a report by the UNEP and Interpol, it is estimated that the value of the black market industry behind crimes such as ivory smuggling, illegal logging and toxic waste dumping has jumped by 26% from 2014 to between US$ 91 billion and US $ 258 billion annually, depriving countries of future revenues and development opportunities.
Moreover, the illegal trade especially in natural resources like fish, timber and minerals undermine legal and sustainable businesses through unfair competition and non-payment of legitimate taxes for social benefits. It is recognised that criminal networks engaged in financial crime, fraud, corruption, illicit trade and human trafficking are also engaged in or facilitating environmental crime.
Full report here.
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