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14 February 2014

Combating corruption in business transactions focus of INTERPOL workshop

NEW DELHI, India – Heads of anti-corruption agencies, senior investigators and prosecutors have come together in India to discuss ways to successfully identify, investigate and prosecute cases of corruption in foreign business transactions at the 7th INTERPOL Global Programme on Anti-Corruption, Financial Crimes and Asset Recovery.

The five-day (10 – 14 February) meeting saw some 65 participants from eight countries across South Asia discuss and examine the latest legal tools and investigation techniques for the recovery of proceeds of corruption prevalent in international business transactions.

Organized by INTERPOL’s Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes unit in coordination with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the United States Department of Justice (US DOJ) in New Delhi, the workshop covered a variety of topics including the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Anti-Bribery Convention, money laundering, computer forensics, asset recovery and the effective use of mutual legal assistance in international investigations.

Addressing the workshop, India’s Minister of State for Personnel and Administration V. Narayanasamy said: “INTERPOL’s sustained efforts in providing technical assistance to enhance the capacity of its member countries in the area of anti-corruption and asset recovery is to be commended.”

CBI Director and Head of the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in India Mr Ranjit Sinha highlighted the need for  international law enforcement cooperation in successfully tackling corruption on the supply side of international business transactions.

“The anti-corruption laws in South Asia have evolved primarily to address corruption in government and public sector, however with the increasing participation of private sector in economic development, it is time for the supply side of corruption to be addressed,” said Mr Sinha.

Head of INTERPOL’s Anti-corruption unit Jaganathan Saravanasamy said, “Capacity building is a priority for INTERPOL and this workshop will help our member countries to achieve even greater successes in investigating and prosecuting crimes linked to corruption.”

Underlining the importance of secure information exchange for asset recovery, Director of INTERPOL’s Specialized Crime and Analysis unit Glyn Lewis emphasized the need for member countries to fully exploit the  potential of  the recently launched Secure Communication for Asset Recovery (SECOM), a tool developed by INTERPOL in cooperation with the Stolen Asset recovery Initiative (StAR) of UNODC and the World Bank.

The eight participating countries are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.