By William D Moreto, Daan P van Uhm

« Wildlife trafficking is considered to be an example of a transnational organized crime by policymakers and enforcement agencies. Empirically, however, there is mixed support for this. Recently, there has been increased attention on the convergence of different illegal activities in an effort to share resources, personnel and transport routes. The present study attempts to qualitatively examine the intersection of wildlife trafficking and organized crime from a crime mutualism framework in order to explore how these criminal activities and entities converge. Based on fieldwork conducted in Uganda and China, we find that while organized crime appears to have a presence in illegal wildlife markets, such involvement appears to be more relevant during specific stages. Furthermore, it appears that illegal wildlife markets in both case studies reflect both loose, informal criminal networks and more organized crime groups. These findings have implications for the criminological study of and the response to complex wildlife crime. »

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