TRAFFIC organises seminar for wildlife crime enforcement agencies in China
Nanjing, Jiangsu, China, 16th June 2016—TRAFFIC, with assistance from the National Anti-smuggling Office and Nanjing Forest Police College, earlier this month organized a “Seminar on combating wildlife smuggling and illegal trade” for enforcement agencies from across China.
Around 50 representatives from the Anti-smuggling Police, Forest police, Border Police, Marine Police, Environment Police and Customs attended.
It was the first time that representatives from every police wildlife crime enforcement department had met to share experiences and discuss the techniques for improving illegal wildlife trade detection—specifically the underground trade.
TRAFFIC opened the meeting with an overview of international illegal wildlife trade and the efforts underway to deter wildlife crime. Experts from the World Customs Organization Regional Intelligence Liaison Offices (WCO RILO), China Customs’ Ruili Dog Base and Nanjing Forest Police college introduced examples of international intelligence exchange, the use of sniffer dogs and methods to deter online crime.
Representatives of the Forest Police, Border Police and Customs shared their experiences on deterring illegal wildlife trade, while experts from the procuratorate presented lessons learned from cases that had failed to result in a conviction, highlighting the need for strong objective evidence in support of suspects’ confessions.
As in many countries, enforcement of wildlife crime is carried out by different specialist agencies. In China they include Customs, Marine Police, Border Police, Anti-smuggling Police, Forest Police and Environment Police, each with their own duties and therefore having a variety of different perspectives on wildlife crime.
The seminar provided a platform for the agencies to arrive at a common understanding of the key issues and enhance co-operation and intelligence exchange, for example through the establishment of informant networks in hotspot areas and industries, while strengthened communication with the procuratorate should result in improved conviction rates.
Zhang Shanning, Director of the Enforcement Division of China’s Convention on International Trade in Endangered of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Management Authority said: ”It is great that TRAFFIC and the National Anti-smuggling Office has organized this seminar, which has enabled a big step forwards for collaboration in combatting illegal wildlife trade in China.”
Zhou Fei, Head of TRAFFIC’s China Office said: “Through this seminar, TRAFFIC is pleased to help enforcement departments share and learn from one another the use of new techniques and methods to combat wildlife crime. Nowadays, wildlife crime is high tech and highly organized: TRAFFIC offers our support to work with enforcement agencies to research and adopt new methods to deter such crime.”