There are those who think that corruption is unavoidable, that it’s too difficult to tackle.
But every time we think like this, every time we repeat this phrase, corruption wins.
The elites and their facilitators have been making millions of dollars from illegal logging, ivory and rhino horn trafficking, smuggling of live endangered species such as cheetahs and orangutans, illegal fishing, and the exploitation of natural resources, very often at the expense of poor local communities.
The scale of corruption is mind-boggling, with the World Bank estimating that more than $1 trillion in bribes are paid each year around the world. It is around every corner and it can infect anyone, from the poorest to the richest, from the bush to banks and presidential palaces.
Corruption fuels all sorts of trafficking, tax evasion, money laundering, and the activities of militias and terrorist groups.
As an organization working in the field of wildlife trafficking, we face corruption every day and we see corruption in every single trafficking case we investigate.