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FinCEN Holds FinCEN Exchange on Environmental Crimes and Related Financial Activity

November 16, 2021 / Source: FinCEN


Office of Strategic Communications,

Immediate Release

November 16, 2021

WASHINGTON—The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) today convened a virtual FinCEN Exchange focused on identifying and combatting illicit financial flows associated with environmental crimes and related money laundering.  Representatives from financial institutions, law enforcement, and Federal government agencies attended the session. 

Topics discussed included illicit financial flows related to wildlife trafficking, illegal logging, illegal fishing, illegal mining, and waste and hazardous substances trafficking, and possible solutions for better understanding the related illicit flows.  

Environmental crimes encompass illegal activity that harms human health, and harms nature and natural resources by damaging environmental quality.  This can include driving biodiversity loss, causing the overexploitation of natural resources, and thereby increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.  FinCEN is focusing on environmental crimes because of an upward trend in these activities and their related financial flows; their strong association with two of FinCEN’s national anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) priorities, specifically corruption and transnational criminal organizations; and their contribution to the climate and biodiversity crises.  The Financial Action Task Force has estimated that global environmental crimes generate hundreds of billions in illicit proceeds annually.  These crimes frequently and increasingly involve transnational organized crime and corruption, and are often associated with a variety of other crimes including money laundering, bribery, theft, forgery, tax evasion, fraud, human trafficking, and drug trafficking.