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10 December 2010

Vienna hosts first anti-corruption INTERPOL-StAR asset recovery meeting

VIENNA, Austria – INTERPOL and the World Bank-UNODC StAR (Stolen Asset Recovery) anti-corruption initiative, in co-operation with the U.S. Department of State, are holding the first StAR-INTERPOL Asset Recovery Focal Points meeting in Vienna, Austria, from 14 to 15 December. The event will include investigators, prosecutors and experts in the field of asset confiscation and recovery.

The INTERPOL Asset Recovery Focal Points list was launched worldwide through INTERPOL's I-24/7 secure police communications network in January 2009 and consists of a secure contacts database of law enforcement officials available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to respond to emergency requests for assistance in asset recovery investigations when lack of immediate action may cause law enforcement officials to lose a money trail in their investigation.

The Vienna meeting brings together key law enforcement officials registered on the list as well as international partners and stakeholders and will provide them with an opportunity to discuss key actions required to strengthen international co-operation amongst anti-corruption and asset recovery practitioners.

Co-ordinated by INTERPOL's anti-corruption office at the Organization's General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France, the list to date has seen 74 national jurisdictions contribute to the database with nominal information, as well as national anti-corruption legislation information and guidelines on how to request mutual legal assistance.

The meeting's programme will include presentations by INTERPOL officers on how the Organization can provide assistance, as well as presentations by various experts from partner networks (StAR and UNODC) on the legal and institutional framework surrounding asset recovery investigations. Identifying opportunities to extend co-operation with relevant networks as well as challenges faced at the regional level in terms of co-operation will also be discussed.