AML professionals are well aware of the many diverse ways that organized criminals and terrorists utilize items of value to move and disguise the movement of funds derived from those items. While not a new area, we need to learn more about “wildlife trafficking” and recognize that, for example, over 7000 species have been traded illegally. In this interview, a committed activist, Melissa Leeds, shares her insights on the broad scope of this global problem and what our community can do in response.

* John sat down with Melissa during the 2019 ACAMS 18th Annual AML & Financial Crime Conference in Las Vegas, NV outside of the exhibit floor. There are some instances of background noise during their conversation.

Additional Resources & Links:

John's Review of Professor Louise Shelley’s recent book, “Dark Commerce: How a New Illicit Economy is Threatening Our Future.” -

Department of Justice Wildlife Trafficking -

Global Financial Integrity website -

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Trafficking Page -