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ACAMS and WWF Launch Japanese Version of Illegal Wildlife Trade Certificate Program

·4-min read
Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists
Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists

Free certificate to educate Japanese AFC professionals on financial-crime risks tied to wildlife trafficking

MIAMI, Sept. 06, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In an effort to help financial institutions and other stakeholders fight a major transnational organized crime linked to the spread of corruption and degradation of global biodiversity, ACAMS has teamed up with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to offer a new Japanese translation of its free-of-charge training certificate, Ending Illegal Wildlife Trade: A Comprehensive Overview. First launched by ACAMS and WWF in October 2020, the social-impact program trains anti-financial crime (AFC) professionals on how to identify and investigate the financial activity of criminal syndicates engaged in the illegal wildlife trade (IWT), which generates an estimated $23 billion in illicit proceeds annually.

Participants in the IWT program will learn the complex methodologies used by criminals to elude import-export checks and anti-money laundering programs, including through the exploitation of front companies, shell firms, online marketplaces, real estate, prepaid cards, mobile apps, and other payment systems. The certificate, which offers guidance on identifying IWT-related risks and red flags, is designed to educate and support professionals involved in AFC work at financial institutions, supervisory bodies, law enforcement agencies, and nongovernmental organizations, among others.

The launch of the Japanese translation comes in response to calls by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for governments, banks, and other institutions to step up their efforts to track and report money laundering tied to IWT syndicates. Despite the role that illicit wildlife trafficking plays in fueling corruption, undermining environmental sustainability, and weakening the integrity of the global financial system, nations rarely investigate the finances of IWT groups, FATF noted in a June 2020 report.

“The illegal wildlife trade is an inherently international problem that requires a global response, not least because the crime has consequences that extend far beyond any national borders,” said ACAMS CEO Scott Liles. “That’s why we’re proud to support AFC professionals in Japan who are seeking to identify financial activity associated with the trafficking of exotic pets, ivory, tortoise shells, and other IWT challenges highlighted by Japanese authorities in recent years.”

“Our partnership with WWF has made clear that this is a critical fight for the future of our planet, and it’s one in which AFC professionals can play a fundamental role,” he said. “By supporting governments and financial institutions that wish to do more to prevent environmental crime, we’re helping to mitigate corruption, limit the spread of zoonotic diseases, safeguard global trade and finance, and save lives.”

WWF Japan CEO Tobai Sadayosi said: "Illegal wildlife trade and other environmental crimes have a devastating impact on the sustainability of our planet and the security of our society.  Financial institutions play a critical role in detecting early and ultimately stopping the financial flow from IWT. We are excited to be partnering in this new strategic approach with ACAMS Japan and call upon the Japanese financial sector to take advantage of this program."

Now available in English, Simplified Chinese, and Japanese, the Ending Illegal Wildlife Trade: A Comprehensive Overview certificate is one of four free social-impact programs launched by ACAMS since 2020, and the first of two designed to help AFC professionals identify IWT-related activity.

The Japanese translation of the certificate can be accessed via the ACAMS Learning Management System here.

About ACAMS®
ACAMS is the largest international membership organization dedicated to providing opportunities for anti-financial crime (AFC) education, best practices, and peer-to-peer networking to AFC professionals globally. With over 90,000 members across 180 jurisdictions, ACAMS is committed to the mission of ending financial crime through the provision of anti-money laundering/counterterrorism-financing and sanctions knowledge-sharing, thought leadership, risk-mitigation services, ESG initiatives, and platforms for public-private dialogue. The association’s CAMS certification is the gold-standard qualification for AFC professionals, while the CGSS certification is its premier specialist qualification for sanctions professionals. ACAMS’ 60 Chapters globally further amplify the association’s mission through training and networking initiatives. Visit acams.org for more information.

About WWF

WWF is a global environmental conservation organization established in Switzerland in 1961. To build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, WWF is currently promoting environmental projects in more than 100 countries to protect rare wildlife species, preserve natural environments such as forests and oceans, promote sustainable use of natural resources, and prevent global warming, among other things. The Japan Office was established in 1971 and the website is : https://www.wwf.or.jp/.

Media Contact:
Lashvinder Kaur
lkaur@acams.org
+44 7388 264478