Research Handbook on Transnational Crime
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Research Handbook on Transnational Crime

Edited by Valsamis Mitsilegas, Saskia Hufnagel and Anton Moiseienko

This Research Handbook on Transnational Crime is an interdisciplinary, up-to-date guide to this growing field, written by an international cohort of leading scholars and experts. It covers all the major areas of transnational crime, providing a well-rounded, detailed discussion of each topic, and includes chapters focusing on responses to transnational crime in specific regions.
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Chapter 13: Policing and prosecution of transnational environmental crime

Toine Spapens and Shanna Mehlbaum


Although environmental crime is highly transnational in scope, enforcement agencies struggle with cross-border cooperation in investigating these types of offences. Environmental crimes are often regulatory offences and first-line enforcement is the responsibility of administrative enforcement agencies. In many jurisdictions criminal law enforcement agencies are competent only when environmental crimes have had acute effects on human health and safety, usually in the context of accidents. Combating cross-border environmental crime more effectively calls for a range of strategies. Important is multi-agency cooperation involving the police, the public prosecution service, the Customs and administrative agencies. Financial investigation and seizing the proceeds of crime may also be a useful approach because sentences are often limited and difficult to impose. Law enforcement may also benefit from information provided by environmental NGOs and the public. Finally, capacity building is important, particularly because environmental crime often involves countries in the global south, which have limited resources.

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