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Lao wildtrade report emphasises need for anticorruption investigative powers

October 10, 2014

In order to address wealthy controllers of transnational criminal networks in the wildtrade and illegal logging industries, resources urgently need to be shifted towards the development of investigative capacity focused on anti-corruption and anti-money laundering, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime says on their website today.

The UNODC has made the statement to coincide with the release of  a new study which details the findings in the Assessment on the criminal justice response to wildlife and forest crime in Lao PDR.

The study highlights that some progress to tackle wildlife and forest crimes has been made in Lao PDR.

“However, the capacity to conduct investigations on the most serious and transnational offences remain remarkably low. Some factors impeding successful investigation, as identified in the study, include blurred definitions of the main offences, limited investigative capacity and poor coordination among law enforcement agencies,” the UNODC statement says.

“Despite the visibly organized and transnational nature of crimes such as illegal timber trade and wildlife trafficking, the key offenders enjoy a high level of impunity also because of their links to corrupt officials,”  the Deputy Prosecutor General of Lao PDR, He Langsy Sybounheuang says.

The Deputy Prosecutor General of Lao PDR also stressed that the number of cases related to environmental crimes that are brought to justice is still very limited.


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