Out of Africa: How West and Central Africa have become the epicentre of ivory and pangolin scale trafficking to Asia details how endemic corruption, weak or absent rule of law, low levels of development and hotspots of armed conflict have left the region wide open to exploitation by well-organised transnational criminal gangs.
The global illegal wildlife trade (IWT) is now recognised as a serious transnational organised crime. Although there are various estimates of the scale of the crime, the most commonly quoted figure puts the proceeds from IWT in a range of $7-23 billion a year.
Despite the rapid proliferation of organised Vietnamese wildlife trafficking networks driving illegal wildlife trade globally, the response from the Government of Vietnam has been inadequate and disproportionate to the scale of wildlife trafficking implicating Vietnamese criminal groups.
The National Ivory Action Plans (NIAP) process under CITES is a framework developed in response to the elephant poaching crisis continuing in Africa. The NIAP process is a very useful initiative which, if implemented properly, should contribute significantly to reductions in elephant poaching and illegal trade in ivory
Failure to take any meaningful action against identified networks and individuals has led to international Vietnamese syndicates operating with impunity. Illegal ivory, rhino horn and pangolins are entering Vietnam at alarming rates, accelerating declines in populations of elephants, rhinos and pangolins
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