WildLeaks: Identifying crooks, protecting sources


Sean Whyte, Free Malaysia Today

Date Published

The fight against animal poaching and wildlife criminals has a new high-tech ally in the form of WildLeaks, an online forum that lets individuals confidentially report instances of wildlife crime and allows whistleblowers anonymity.

The non-profit website allows users to report on instances of wildlife poaching, animal trafficking or illegal logging, which are all crimes that fuel a US$17 billion industry that is destroying endangered species and natural resources around the world.

“Our first priority is to facilitate the identification, arrest and prosecution of criminals, traffickers, businessmen and corrupt governmental officials behind the poaching of endangered species and the trafficking of wildlife and forest products such as ivory, rhino horn, big cats, apes, pangolins, birds and illegal timber,” said Andrea Crosta, project leader of WildLeaks and co-founder of Elephant Action League.

The California-based Elephant Action League is backing the WildLeaks project. Crosta said in that the endeavour puts “a lot of effort into protecting the people who chose to send us information, not only by providing a state-of-the-art secure system but also by managing and using the information in the correct way.”

Crosta’s statement could not come at a better time as this week saw the Malaysian government once again flagged internationally as complicit in the illegal wildlife trade. Anyone with information concerning those involved in its shameful illegal wildlife trade can now contact WildLeaks in the knowledge their identity will always be kept confidential.

“Malaysia is a crucial country regarding wildlife crime and a key transit country for ivory. But, with dozens of ivory seizures in the past three years, no significant arrests were made.”

Echoing similar international criticisms on Malaysian wildlife authorities, Crosta claimed that the Malaysian government does not see fighting wildlife crime as a priority. We all need to know who in government is protecting the likes of Anson Wong from arrest and prosecution, don’t we?

Malaysia needs to be rid as quickly as possible of those officials with the blood of slaughtered elephants and other species on their grimy hands. Do you agree? A few corrupt people in government have for too long been getting Malaysia a bad reputation.

If you know any such people, will you now report them to WildLeaks? You’ll find them on the web. If not you, who? If not now, when? The lives of countless elephants are in the hands of potential whistleblowers. You could make a difference.

The writer is CEO of Nature Alert

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