Wildlife Trafficking Funding Transnational Crime & Terror

It was an honor to join subject matter experts gathered in Mombasa, Kenya recently where they conducted instructional presentations at a weeklong workshop entitled “Reducing Maritime Trafficking of Wildlife between Africa and Asia.”

This multi-agency, regional capacity-building event was sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development, United Nations Development Programme, and the Grace Farms Foundation, which is partnered with the Department of Homeland Security under a memorandum of understanding addressing wildlife trafficking. The Lusaka Agreement Task Force hosted the workshop that brought participants from multiple law enforcement agencies from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, whose mandates focus on addressing cross-border wildlife crime funding transnational crime syndicates and terror organizations.

The workshop also focused on building financial investigations and asset recovery to better combat wildlife crime. Additional instruction was provided on various investigative skill sets such as interviewing, document exploitation, developing confidential informants, and conducting controlled deliveries. Attendees also participated in practical exercises to solidify retention of the investigative skills learned during the workshop.

Another popular feature of the workshop allowed HSI special agents to explain how mentoring law enforcement officers of the three East African countries would help them more effectively follow up on wildlife seizures and promote international cooperation on wildlife crime investigations.

This was the first of four regional multi-agency workshops planned for 2022. The next workshop is scheduled next month in Tanzania.