Bringing Wildlife Traffickers to Justice
Protect the Frontline
The illegal wildlife trade has escalated into a multi-billion dollar industry in just the last decade. Now a global crisis, trafficking of ivory, rhino horn, and other wildlife commodities threatens the survival of some of our planet’s most iconic species. It fuels corruption, destabilizes communities, erodes socio-economic development and funds violent extremism across the globe.
Focused Conservation’s mission is to dismantle the illegal wildlife trade by supporting governments and law enforcement agencies in investigating, arresting and prosecuting wildlife traffickers.
Project Details & Background
Founded in 2018 by former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent, Wim Brown, Focused Conservation is zeroing in on wildlife trafficking syndicates to fight back and put an end to the illegal wildlife trade. Our team’s knowledge of the criminal underworld, relationships with governments and sources, and ability to analyze and synthesize complex data, gives Focused Conservation the upper hand in the battle against wildlife crime. To achieve our mission, Focused Conservation employs three strategies:
- Leading and coordinating complex transnational investigations to infiltrate and exploit organized trafficking networks and build cases for prosecution;
- Building host-nations’ capacity to tackle organized crime by establishing and supporting vetted/trusted law enforcement units; and
- Collecting, analyzing and sharing information and intelligence with law enforcement agencies and partners to drive investigations and bring wildlife traffickers to justice.
Focused Conservation’s Investigations
While the effects of wildlife trafficking are profound, there are a surprisingly small number of transnational criminal organizations with the logistical and financial capacity to move illicit goods between continents. Transporting wildlife contraband involves an identifiable set of bureaucratic activities that leave actionable evidence. Focused Conservation leads covert investigations that target specific vulnerabilities, zeroing in on the supply, transportation and financing of wildlife trafficking.
Drawing on decades of national and international law enforcement experience, the Focused Conservation team gathers intelligence and identifies key actors, convergence points and avenues for intervention. Our investigations are undertaken with government partners, providing law enforcement agencies with the tools needed to dismantle key networks and arrest “untouchables” — kingpins of the wildlife trafficking underworld.
The Wildlife Warriors
William (Wim) Brown
Wim Brown is a former US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent with 26-years of law enforcement experience. He specialized in targeting transnational organized criminal networks involved in drug, weapons, and wildlife trafficking, narco-terrorism, financial crimes, and other illicit activities. These investigations spanned Africa, Central and South America, Europe, Asia and the USA. For the last ten years he has established and mentored an elite, vetted unit in East Africa that conducted numerous investigations, one of which dismantled a major international drug and wildlife trafficking network. Wim is an accomplished investigator, small-team leader, and a committed law enforcement officer. Founder and CEO, he is focused on reducing organized wildlife trafficking.
Director of International Law Enforcement Operations
Tom (Tommy) Cindric is a former US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent with 28-years of law enforcement experience. During his career, Tommy has conducted investigations targeting violent transnational criminal organizations and arrested some of the world’s most notorious narco-terrorists in Africa, the Middle East, Central and South America, Europe, Asia and the United States. The key to Tommy’s success has come from the recruitment and management of a worldwide network in order to gather strategic intelligence and evidence to dismantle transnational criminal organizations.
Am I donating to Focused Conservation or to Terra Conservation Initiative?
Your donation will go to Terra Conservation Initiative to support Focused Conservation and other TCI conservation organizations.
Is my contribution tax-deductible?
Yes, Terra Conservation Initiative (TCI) is a program sponsored by Ngaren, a 501(c)(3) organization.
How will my donation be spent?
While our training and capacity building programs are largely underwritten by government grants, many of our investigations are only made possible by donor support.
Our team has identified a network of high-level targets, spanning four countries. The arrests of these key players will have a profound impact on the global wildlife trade — preventing further poaching by bringing kingpins to justice. But also, perhaps more importantly, deterring traffickers across the globe by signaling that the stakes are now higher than ever.
We are currently seeking $442,500 to cover our ongoing operations and launch this
Your support will not only help cover the salaries of our lead investigators and ‘in field advisors’, but also the related costs such as travel, equipment and communications that are vital to the success of the program.
Does your work focus on protecting certain species?
While our work sometimes leads us to investigate the trafficking of lesser known species, the majority of our investigations have focused on elephant ivory, rhino horn and pangolin scales.
Do you receive government support?
Yes. A large portion of our revenue is from government grants – specifically support from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and USAID.
Is there overlap between trafficking of wildlife and other illicit goods such as drugs, arms and human trafficking?
Because of the low-risk and high-profit margins, wildlife crime is converging with other known criminal networks on every continent. There is evidence that the illicit trade in wildlife is linked to other serious crime including narcotics and human trafficking. As transnational criminal organizations, insurgents and terrorist entities have become more involved in wildlife crime,
they are implementing the same sophisticated money laundering schemes used to move other illicit profits and shield the organization from detection and prosecution.