Asset recovery

We assist countries to recover and return assets obtained corruptly.

Overview

Returning stolen public funds

We are developing an initiative to trace, seize and return stolen public funds to the country of origin.

The Global Focal Point Network on Asset Recovery provides a secure information exchange platform for the recovery of criminal assets. Authorized law enforcement officers from each member country are designated as focal points and can respond quickly when another country requires assistance.

The aim of this initiative is to support asset freezing, and the seizure, confiscation and recovery of stolen assets. It facilitates the secure exchange of sensitive information among the focal points from anti-corruption and asset recovery agencies.

Global Focal Point Network

Membership of the Global Focal Point Network is open to all our member countries. Applicants should be from law enforcement, judiciary or an administrative authority with a focus on asset recovery or corruption in general.

Through our secure channels, registered focal points can access:

  • Information and contact details of other focal points;
  • Legislative, administrative, investigate and judicial frameworks for member countries;
  • A 24-hour Initial Action Checklist for an asset recovery investigation;
  • Secure email capability: Up to two-thirds of the registered focal points do not have secure email systems, which means many are reluctant to exchange information via email. Our I-SECOM system, launched in 2013, gives the specialized anti-corruption community a secure web-based email capability. This password-protected, encrypted channel encourages the exchange of sensitive data and contributes to the success of investigations.

Members of the Focal Point network meet every year to share information and best practices, to discuss specific cases, and to build personal and institutional relationships.

The Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) Initiative provides knowledge input to the network. StAR is run jointly by the World Bank and UNODC.

Training

Successful asset recovery depends on thorough and credible investigation and, in cross-border cases, on the willingness to share evidence through both formal and informal channels.

Training is crucial to boost the knowledge and skills of investigators and prosecutors in the use of the latest investigative tools and techniques and to share international best practice.

Through the statement made in the Conferences of State Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption held in Marrakesh (2011) and Panama (2013), we have committed to offer technical assistance and capacity building workshops to member countries.

We do this through the INTERPOL Global Programme on Anti-Corruption, Financial Crimes and Asset Recovery, which offers regular workshops on a regional basis.

Conducted over five days, these training workshops are delivered by eminent investigators, audit and accounting specialists and financial experts, in partnership with national anti-corruption and financial crime authorities from our member countries.

Experts Group Meetings

Experts Group Meetings of the Global Focal Point Network provide an opportunity to establish direct working relationships and facilitate the exchange of knowledge.

Guidelines compiled at these meeting include advice on methodology and good practices on asset recovery, are compiled. They are targeted at asset recovery focal points.

Operational support

Timely investigative support is vital in asset recovery cases that cross multiple borders, in order to locate, freeze, confiscate and finally repatriate stolen assets.

However, a lack of understanding of the legal, administrative and other procedural requirements in other countries can present a major barrier for investigators.

In such a situation, at the request of the member country pursuing the investigation, we invite the case officers from all the jurisdictions concerned for an operational coordination meeting. This helps remove any procedural barriers and identify a clear way forward.

Working in partnership

We cooperate closely with a number of national, regional and international bodies such as the International Anti-Corruption Coordination Centre (IACCC). The IACCC brings together specialist law enforcement officers from multiple agencies around the world to tackle allegations of grand corruption and help bring corrupt elites to justice.

INTERPOL has deployed a liaison officer to the IACCC to provide support and advice to member countries, facilitate secure communications, and coordinate training and capacity building.