Global corruption in forestry sector worth USD 29 billion a year
An INTERPOL report released on International Anti-Corruption Day underlines the scale of criminal activity tied to the forestry sector and the importance of coordinating anti-corruption efforts to protect forests.
Among its key findings, the report entitled Uncovering the Risks of Corruption in the Forestry Sector estimates that the annual global cost of corruption in the forestry sector is worth some USD 29 billion.
It also found that bribery is reported as the most common form of corruption in the forestry sector. Other forms of corruption include fraud, abuse of office, extortion, cronyism and nepotism.
The report says that criminal networks use corruption and bribe officials to establish ‘safe passage’ for the illegal movement of timber. Criminal groups also exploit these routes to transport other illicit goods such as drugs and firearms.
It includes an example from Peru where the mayor of an important timber trading city was arrested for his involvement in drug trafficking through plywood shipments. The mayor controlled a timber business that had been used to strategically build a logistical network for bribing officials to move illegally harvested timber out of the country.