Some of the largest financial institutions, transport companies and law enforcement agencies in the U.S. gathered together in New York to join forces in the fight against the global illegal wildlife trade.
Barclays, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, Citibank, HSBC, JP Morgan Chase, Scotiabank, Standard Chartered, Wells Fargo and Air Canada are among the global organisations that make up the United for Wildlife (UfW) network, pledging to take leadership roles within their industries to help end illegal wildlife crime.
The event, held at Paul, Weiss’s offices in New York City, is also attended by representatives from the U.S. Treasury, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
It marks the launch of United for Wildlife’s North America Regional Chapter and highlights the leadership role that U.S. multinational businesses and the U.S. authorities are playing in preventing the global trafficking of wildlife products and tracking the proceeds of crime that result from it.
United for Wildlife was founded by Prince William and The Royal Foundation in 2014 to protect endangered species from the illegal wildlife trade. It fosters collaboration across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors to identify, report and prevent wildlife trafficking – a trade worth up to $20 billion annually and that is run by highly organised criminal networks associated with violent crime, corruption and other forms of trafficking. UfW’s unique collaborative approach has united over 250 international law enforcement agencies, transport companies, financial institutions and non-governmental organisations to date.
The event comes just days after the U.S. Department of Justice announced that 8 members of an international primate smuggling ring, including Cambodian Government officials, were charged with multiple felonies for their role in bringing wild long-tailed macaques into the United States. If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years imprisonment for the smuggling charges. Led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and supported by members of United for Wildlife’s Financial Taskforce, the case highlights the leadership of the U.S. authorities and the crucial value of collaboration between sectors.