Environmental crime is one of the most profitable illegal trades in the world. Because the victim of environmental crime is typically voiceless, it is very convenient for criminals to make a lucrative business out of it. It is especially in the last few years that the seriousness and scale of the problem is more known, sometimes brought to light by NGOs and investigative journalists.
This report finds that vague legal definitions and gaps in enforcement allow for crimes to be perpetrated without a suitable punishment. The authors concentrate on three main factors explaining why this is the case: the problems in investigating the guilty parties, corporate liability of environmental crimes and the level of sanctions.
‘Crime and punishment’ is part of a series of reports published under the Implement for LIFE (IFL) project.