Hunting for Profits, Criminal Groups Turn to the Environment
Environmental crimes carry high profits and low penalties, attracting the attention of organized criminal organizations. In the European Union alone, the profits of some criminal networks involved in environmental crimes—from trafficking protected wild animals to waste and pollution crimes—reach millions of euros every year, according to Europol’s July 2022 report Environmental Crime in the Age of Climate Change.
The worldwide economic damage caused by environmental crime was valued at between 76 billion and 218 billion euros in 2016—and it has continued to increase, especially as climate change affects operations and resources.
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