A Crime Pattern Analysis of the Illegal Ivory Trade in China

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Author/s (editor/s):

Jiang Nan

Publication year:


Publication type:

Working paper

Find this publication at:
TEC Working Paper 1/2015

Jiang Nan, ‘A Crime Pattern Analysis of the Illegal Ivory Trade in China’, TEC Working Paper 1-2015, Canberra: Transnational Environmental Crime Project, Department of International Relations, Australian National University, June 2015.

The illegal ivory trade fuels illegal elephant poaching in both Africa and Asia. The illegal ivory trade in China is considered a key threat to the survival of the elephant species: since 2009, China has become the largest illegal ivory market in the world. Although China has uncovered a great number of cases of illegal ivory trade with the seizure of illegal ivory in the past decade, this trade is still growing. A deeper understanding of the nature and patterns of illegal ivory trade through an analysis of ivory seizure data should improve the efficiency of efforts to prevent the illegal ivory trade in China. This paper analyses data on 106 seizures of illegal ivory that was collected from Chinese news reports between 1999 and 2014, with a particular focus on its frequency and illegal trade ‘hotspot’ locations in China. The analysis found three illegal ivory trade cycles (2001–2005, 2006–2010, and 2011–2014) and four hotspots. Preventing the illegal ivory trade will require more international cooperation and coordination between China and other countries.

About the author

Jiang Nan is an associate professor in the Criminal Investigation Department of the Nanjing Forest Police College. He received his LLM in Criminal Law from Zhongnan University of Economics and Law in 2005 before beginning his career as a teacher. He also worked as a practical police officer in Wuxue Public Security Station between 1992 and 2002. Jiang is the author of Standard Practice of Police Interrogation (People’s Public Security University Press of China, 2012). He has also published 31 articles in academic journals. His current research interests include transnational wildlife crime and law enforcement.

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