In light of the recent UNODC Anti Wildlife Poaching Workshop in Botswana, Director of AML Solutions International, Mr Todd Harland, was recently invited to discuss the extent of illegal wildlife poaching in Africa on Brisbane radio station River 94.9. Thanks to the host of the Great Weekender program, Danny Hoyland OAM, for providing a forum to have this serious crime brought to the attention of the people of Australia. We trust that our contribution helps move the issue further forward and we can put an end to these crimes by following the money trails and closing down the demand.
Due to time restrictions not all topics could be fully explored and it’s important to understand some of them. The reason for the rhino horn trade is based on a long standing, and mistaken belief, that it is an aphrodisiac. The reality is the horn is made of the same substance as our hair and fingernails, and therefor as an aphrodisiac it’s about as effective as chewing your nails. Rhino horn is valued at approximately $65,000 per kilogram and has been transported into Asia in suitcases on regular passenger aircraft.
Research has also shown that in a recent survey, approximately 84% of Chinese felt that ivory was a great way to display ones wealth and most people would buy some if they could. In 2010 the rate of killing elephants, for their tusks, exceeded the birth rate and so the population is now in a steady decline. Elephant tusk is valued at approximately $3000 per kilogram and is has been seized by authorities in large shipments within sea faring cargo containers.
These are deep seated beliefs in the Asian community and as such a determined education campaign must be used to change those views while the intelligence and law enforcement community track the money flows and prosecute the organised crime syndicates who trade in these commodities.
If this is an issue that is important to you, please consider how you can contribute and start by visiting the United for Wildlife website. Also join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook #WhoseSideAreYouOn.