Training Report: Kenya, Anti-Poaching Program, September 10-12

On September 10 and 12, the Richardson Center for Global Engagement facilitated expert instruction on two modules: Financial Investigation/Money Laundering and Prosecution and Asset Forfeiture, in the context of the Freeland DETECT program ( in Nairobi, Kenya. Trainees came from Kenya, Congo, Uganda, Tanzania and Gabon.


The Freeland Foundation is a world famous NGO building model programs to combat wildlife exploitation ( With State Department funding from the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (, Freeland developed a 3-week training course as part of its State Department anti-poaching grant entitled Detection of Environmental Crime (DETECT). The course focused on all aspects of anti-poaching criminal investigation but had a gap on the subject of financial enforcement techniques to combat transnational criminals far removed from Africa who shape the worldwide market for illegal ivory and rhino horns.

Pilot Training Kenya, September 10 and 12

Freeland staff were delighted to integrate our two modules into their comprehensive training, scheduling the two noted modules for delivery on September 10 and 12 at the site of Freeland’s Kenya DETECT training at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies. The Freeland-Richardson Center program was delivered to an audience of 18 wildlife protection enforcement officers, police, and prosecutors from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Republic of Congo, and Gabon (see attached roster).

Expert Instructors

The Richardson Center recruited two instructors experienced in major international financial and money laundering crimes: Michael Messier (former DEA Special Agent-in-Charge and manager of Bank of America Foreign Operations), and Stefan Cassella (former Deputy Chief of the Justice Department Asset Forfeiture/Money Laundering Section and author of the federal Asset Forfeiture reform legislation). The Richardson Center program was coordinated by Clifford Karchmer, former Program Development Director of the Police Executive Research Forum and project manager of the Justice Department’s Model Asset Forfeiture Training Program, and now Senior Adviser to the Richardson Center.

The RCGE Program

In 2013, Gov. Richardson commissioned a white paper on the use of the asset forfeiture remedy to attack the financial underpinnings of the lucrative traffic in ivory and rhino horns. The paper was used to develop a comprehensive financially oriented training program for investigators and prosecutors. The September training showcased the model training curriculum’s two core instructional modules–investigation and prosecution. To support the two modules, the Richardson Center’s expert instructors prepared reference material based on Kenya’s money laundering and asset forfeiture laws (see attached), and crafted a Case Study to prompt the participants to draw on innovative investigative and prosecutive techniques from classroom lectures, in carrying forward an anti-poaching financial investigation culminating in both criminal prosecution for money laundering offenses and eventual forfeiture of assets derived from ivory poaching.


The participants became actively engaged in the classroom exercise of building a financially oriented anti-poaching case from its inception, and eventually handing it off to projectors working cooperatively with them. The Richardson Center received a number of compliments from the participants and we are awaiting the course evaluation administered by Freeland at the conclusion of its 3-week program. The two instructors also invited participants to keep in touch with them as cases are initiated in the future.