Case Study

Putting wildlife crime on a par with terrorism financing and human trafficking – the South African Anti Money-Laundering Integrated Task Force (SAMLIT)

September 2022

Introducing South Africa’s first public private partnership’s approach to combating illegal wildlife trade (IWT) financing

South Africa is home to some of the world’s most spectacular species and their natural habitats. Unfortunately, this also means that the country is a hub for the illegal wildlife trade(IWT). United for Wildlife has helped South Africa respond to the illegal wildlife trade as a financial crime, allowing for greater investigation and prosecution and overall awareness in the financial sector.

The South African Anti Money-Laundering Integrated Task Force (SAMLIT) was created in December 2019 as a public-private partnership between institutions from the banking sector and regulatory agencies. Its members include banks and the country’s treasury, Financial Intelligence Centre, and Directorate  for Priority Crime Investigation.


It takes a network to catch a network, and we have learnt that by joining forces and communicating through legal frameworks, we can be much more effective than by operating in silos.”
– Gerald Byleveld, Investec’s Head of Financial Crimes Compliance, and Head of SAMLIT’s IWT working group.

Our goal at SAMLIT is to support more effective resource and information sharing to prevent, detect, and disrupt financial crime in South Africa. In order to achieve this goal, we work directly with government agencies to allow for systemic sharing between the private sector and law enforcement. We also have a tactical operations group with the capacity to conduct or contribute to criminal investigations.

“We cannot effectively fight organised crime without following the money that links the entire syndicate to the crime, an effective collaboration with NGOs, financial institutions, FIUs and law enforcement agencies is the only effective way of disrupting organised crime networks”
– Adv. XJ Khanyile, the Director of the Financial Intelligence Centre and Chair of the SAMLIT


Illegal wildlife trade is a financial crime and United for Wildlife is working with organisations like ours to convey this message. Through our collaboration, we are helping to force systemic change to put an end to the harm caused to wildlife and the communities that live alongside it.