At the last meeting of the UNEP (United Nations Program for the Environment), held on November 26 at the UN headquarters in Nairobi, Pope Francis gave a speech on the damage and dangers that poaching, corruption and illegal trade of raw materials are causing the economy of third world countries.
The Pope appealed to the entire international political community, calling attention to the issue of illegal trafficking in diamonds, ivory and other natural resources. A bloody trafficking whose revenues go to fuel international terrorism and criminal organizations, responsible for thousands of victims all over the world and for the major political and social instability of poor countries.
The words of Pope Francis can be confirmed by the data of CITES (Convention on International Trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora), responsible for monitoring the trade in question and for issuing licenses.
According to statements from CITES officials, the illegal trafficking of wild species and their derivatives, often through the work of organized criminal associations, provides fertile ground for phenomena such as fraud, forgery, conspiracy and money laundering.
In many cases, the illegal trade is aided and/or caused by the corruption of forest rangers and public officials of various ranks and offices, and as is true for all institutions in this world, corruption is sometimes found even within CITES organization.
It happens that these same CITES officials join forces with the underworld and break the law, issuing false certificates, demanding and accepting bribes or even physically taking part in the capture and/or trade of protected species.
Certain cases, however, are not often found.
It is very important, therefore, for those buying articles derived from exotic animals, to ensure that such articles come from authorized sources and that the seller holds a license certifying the legal origin of the materials being used.
You can be sure that the absence of licenses and guarantees regarding the legality of sources, is direct evidence of the illegal origin of the material, obtained by poaching and, most likely, with the assistance of organized crime.