From Aug. 20-24, 2018, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Bangkok hosted the first ever Southeast Asia Regional Environmental Crimes Trans-Border Financial Investigations Training in Bangkok, Thailand (TBFIT). This event was presided over by HSI Bangkok Regional Attaché Eric McLoughlin.
Attendees of this initial block of training included officers, investigators, inspectors and analysts from various Thai, Vietnamese and Indonesian law enforcement agencies. Through this training, HSI seeks to provide international law enforcement partners with the most up to date and relevant methods to combat trans-national wildlife smuggling organizations by focusing on the financial systems used by these criminal organizations.
Instructors for this event included HSI special agents, non-governmental organizations CEOs and wildlife trafficking experts. The keynote speaker for this event was Dr. Samuel Wasser, a world-renowned research professor that has been recognized by various international organizations. Dr. Wasser recently received the title of Elephant Hero from National Geographic and the Albert Schweitzer Medal for his work on wildlife trafficking.
“The connections between trafficking in illegal wildlife and natural resources with the financing of groups involved in transnational organized crime pose additional threats which must be addressed by law enforcement partners working together from around the world” said McLoughlin. “HSI through support from our partners with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Department of Justice and non-governmental organizations is honored to be able to help lead these efforts through this training to our stakeholders in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia.”