Intelligence team

EIA’s intelligence team is central to investigating environmental crime and abuse.

Staffed by former law enforcement and private sector intelligence professionals, the EIA intelligence team plays a crucial role in EIA’s wide-ranging investigative work.

The team works closely with EIA’s field investigators to plan undercover operations targeting wildlife traffickers and individuals involved in other forms of environmental crime such as illegal logging.

Intelligence Week podcast – meet the team behind the scenes of so much of our success!

As part of our special Intelligence Week to celebrate the team’s work, we talked with Mel, our Senior Intelligence Analyst, and her two colleagues, intelligence analysts Martina and Denitsa, about what they do and why it’s key to our success.

The team use the same techniques as the UK law enforcement and intelligence community to analyse vast quantities of intelligence gathered by the investigators in the field, as well as corroborating findings using advanced open source research techniques. This collection and processing of information feeds into the intelligence cycle.

Database and intelligence management is important for analysis, so EIA stores all data in a database which can be easily manipulated and queried using specialist intelligence analysis software.

Piecing together information from a wide range of sources, EIA's intelligence team builds an incredibly detailed picture of organized crime networks, trade routes, patterns, and convergence involved in wildlife and environmental crimes.

The analyst’s main job is to answer the ‘What? Why? When? How? Who?’ questions of environmental crime and put forward recommendations to fill in knowledge gaps about how certain crime types or networks operate. They will then use their toolkit of databases, OSINT research skills and analysis tools to fill the remaining intelligence gaps.

Analysts may present data in a variety of ways so that it is relevant to different stakeholders, easy to understand, and actionable.

Networks charts are used to show links between people, locations, companies and events. They also help visualise organised crime networks and can be used to direct investigations.

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Mapping locations linked to organised crime networks against events such as commodity seizures can assist in visually showing geographical hot spots and make links between events. This also assists with identifying trade routes for wildlife and timber trafficking.

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The analysts produce a range of intelligence products that summarise the information in the best way, from intelligence reports and company profiles to full intelligence assessments.

The team shares this vital information with government law enforcement partners and financial institutions around the world, leading to arrests and seizures, and disrupting criminal networks and their financial resources.

The intel team at EIA also work closely with partners globally to share knowledge on intelligence processes and assist in building capacity and skills in intelligence analysis.

Working with these partners, and ensuring they have the resources and capability to conduct intelligence-led investigations is key in disrupting transnational organized crime groups and combatting environmental crime.