Global Fraud Footprint

Illegal wildlife trade in southern Africa facilitated via fraud

Poachers and hunters are committing fraud to enable slaughter of big game in southern Africa and shipping their trophies — or horns and tusks — over borders. One CFE is valiantly working to reverse the accelerating carnage and corruption.

Imagine the lifeless body of a rhino or elephant, still warm after it dies from a high-powered rifle shot on preservation land in southern Africa. As it bleeds out, thieves saw off its horn or tusks that are destined to be trinkets or ground into “miraculous cure-all” powder. It’s a horrendous scene, but we don’t necessarily think that fraud is involved with the animal’s death and dismemberment.

Yet much of the illegal wildlife trade in southern Africa depends on fraud whether animals are killed by poachers sneaking onto a preserve or purported trophy hunters led by professional guides. (The United Nations designates southern Africa as South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland and Botswana. But it can include Zimbabwe and parts of Mozambique.)

Some nations often use fees collected from allowed hunts and the trade of animal parts for conservation efforts, but sometimes authorities fraudulently award permits. The criminals export the animals’ parts where they’re sold on the black market — primarily in Asia.

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