Foreign cartels and local accomplices: Socio-economic realities of criminality and deforestation in the Nigeria’s forest belts
Adediran Daniel Ikuomola 
|Abstract: From a green criminological perspective, this study examined the dynamics of foreigners and local actors in Nigeria’s forests belts, specifically with regards to deforestation and criminality in agrarian communities. It also highlighted the security lapses and manoeuvring strategies of suspects and arrested foreigners held in custody in the Nigerian Criminal Justice System for violating forest laws. Data collected for the study was basically qualitative, among fifty-five (55) respondents in selected forest belts connecting South and Western Nigeria. It was discovered that a strong network of syndicates (often foreigners with local accomplices) capitalized on the prevailing economic recession and on the high level of unemployment in the country to lure young able-bodied men and women into environmental crime for survival. This is evidenced by the indiscriminate lumbering of precious economic trees that are not fully matured by law for exportation to the international market. These activities have often overwhelmed security personnel, while few foreigners caught; often find their ways out of the Nigerian criminal justice system. The study concluded that there is the urgent need for security operatives to intensify their searchlights on illegal activities of foreigners and local collaborators in the Nigerian forest belts to curtail green crime.
Keywords: Foreign cartels; green crime; forest protection; criminal justice system;
 Department of Sociology/ Criminology and Security Studies, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria. firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com.