FATF Report on Environmental Crime

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recently released a report on Money Laundering from Environmental Crime.  Environmental crime is something many don’t think about but it generates around $110 – $281 billion each year which makes it one of the most lucrative of all criminal activities.  It’s also considered low risk and high reward because of legal inconsistencies that don’t adequately address the financial aspects of the crimes.

The report focuses specifically on laundering money from forestry crime (e.g., illegal logging, illegal land clearance, etc.); illegal mining, and waste trafficking.  These three areas alone are believed to account for about two-thirds of environmental crime proceeds.  The report also outlined common characteristics of these three types.

Environmental crime affects the planet, public health & safety, human security, and social & economic development.  So, the impact goes well beyond the financial considerations.  Unfortunately, there have only been limited efforts to identify, investigate and prosecute money laundering activity related to environmental crime.  Developing a sufficient understanding of the money laundering risks associated with environmental crimes is an essential first step in developing a broader strategy to tackle this type of crime.

For more on this report from FATF, check out our August edition of Banking on BCC.


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