ICCF Kenya and the Parliamentary Conservation Caucus - Kenya Chapter (PCC-K) convened a meeting of senior-ranking Members of Parliament with experts in transnational organized crime to discuss links between organized criminal trafficking networks and the illegal ivory/wildlife trade.
Transnational organized crime has taken a devastating toll on the Kenyan economy and national security. Wildlife and environmental crime is the fastest growing and third most pervasive international crime, behind narcotics and munitions. Drug trafficking syndicates are also trafficking persons, guns, and ivory, moving tens of millions of dollars in illegal products every year. Investigators have linked these syndicates to several multiple-ton ivory seizures in the last two years alone. These networks are exploiting the Kenyan banking, shipping, and logistics apparatus and are major contributors towards the extinction of elephants in Kenya and the region.
Hon. Amina Abdalla, Chair of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee and Member of the PCC-K, convened and facilitated the meeting. Expert speakers included: Gretchen Peters, Director of the Satao Project; Special Agent Wim Brown of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency; Makuri Sosthense, Acting Head of Interpol's Regional Bureau in Nairobi; and Shamini Jayanathan, Director of Wildlife Protection for Space for Giants. Each spoke on the linkages between transnational organized crime networks and the flow of illegal ivory and other wildlife products across borders and through ports in Africa. The discussion focused on opportunities for Kenyan law enforcement institutions to strengthen their efforts against organized crime, including the capacity and efficacy of the judiciary and prosecutions authorities.
In addition to working with the PCC-K, ICCF and its partners are engaging policymakers as well as judicial and prosecutions authorities in the region to explore the links between the illegal wildlife trade and transnational organized crime, and implement capacity-building programs.