Corruption is universal. It affects all regions of the world and all levels of society, but the impact is greatest in developing countries.
If left unchecked, corruption will undermine political, social and economic stability, ultimately threatening the safety and security of society as a whole.
Corruption creates a fertile ground for organized criminal activities, even terrorism, as criminals are aided in their illegal activities by the complicity of corrupt public officials.
Economic globalization has made corruption a borderless crime. The competitive world of international business can leave companies exposed to bribes and fraudulent financial practices. Corrupt transactions can cross multiple jurisdictions, making the ensuing police investigation time-consuming and complex.
What INTERPOL does
The ability to coordinate global action is vital for the world’s police and judicial systems. INTERPOL’s initiatives include:
- International asset recovery: The Global Focal Point Network for Asset Recovery assists law enforcement bodies in returning stolen public funds to victim countries. Accessible via INTERPOL’s secure global police communications network (I-24/7), the platform allows authorized users to exchange information and better coordinate their investigations. Among the tools on offer is SECOM, a secure web-based email capability.
- Operational support: We can coordinate working meetings between member countries in order to facilitate investigations that cover more than one jurisdiction, while Corruption Response Teams can be rapidly deployed to support investigations in the field.
- Training: Success in international asset recovery depends on sound and credible investigation. INTERPOL offers regional training workshops to investigators and prosecutors, focusing on evidence, through the INTERPOL Global Programme on Anti-Corruption, Financial Crimes and Asset Recovery .
The complexities of international corruption require a multi-sector and cross-border response. As such, we work closely with a number of partners to fight corruption globally. Activities include promoting the exchange of information, establishing best practices and providing training to officers around the globe. The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) sets out an international framework invaluable in the fight against corruption and serves as a guide to many of our initiatives.
Our international partners include, among others:
- The World Bank;
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime;
- US Department of State;
- United Nations Development Programme;
- Basel Institute on Governance.
As part of our projects and partnerships, we take part in and organize a number of corruption-related events, such as conferences, meetings and training workshops, involving our partners, contact points, member countries, prosecutors and investigators.
What is corruption?
"Corruption is any course of action or failure to act by individuals or organizations, public or private, in violation of law or trust for profit or gain."
Definition of corruption by INTERPOL experts
Supporting the UN Convention against Corruption