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International asset recovery

The Global Focal Point Initiative

The theft of public assets by corrupt public officials and political leaders has a major impact on society, particularly in developing countries. It diverts money from services such as healthcare and education, it erodes public trust and threatens governance.

The process of asset recovery is complex, time consuming and often frustrating. As stolen assets are often concealed in foreign jurisdictions, there is a clear need for concerted action on a global level.

Following endorsement from INTERPOL’s General Assembly, we are developing initiative to trace, seize and return stolen public funds to the country of origin.

The Global Focal Point Network

The Global Focal Point Network on Asset Recovery provides a secure information exchange platform for criminal asset recovery. Authorized law enforcement officers from each member country are designated as “Focal Points” to respond to the immediate needs for assistance from any other member country in asset recovery. 

The immediate strategic objective of this initiative is to respond to concerns of asset freezing, seizing, confiscating and recovering stolen assets. A continuing objective is to facilitate secure exchange of sensitive information among the Focal Points who are from anti-corruption and asset recovery agencies.

As of November 2015, more than 200 national investigators and prosecutors from 120 countries had been nominated as Focal Points.The 6th meeting of the Global Focal Points Network was held in New Delhi, India, in November 2015.

Products and services available

Through INTERPOL secure channels, registered Focal Points can access:

  • Information and contact details of Focal Points from other jurisdictions;
  • Legislative, administrative, investigative and judicial frameworks for member countries;
  • A knowledge library;
  • All valid INTERPOL Notices published for corruption-related offences;
  • INTERPOL Notices to freeze assets;
  • A 24-Hour Initial Action Checklist for an asset recovery investigation.

In addition, we share regionally-based case studies, best practices and guidelines with our member countries through the INTERPOL Library of Best Practices, produced by the INTERPOL Group of Experts on Corruption.

INTERPOL Secure Communications for Asset Recovery (I-SECOM)

As many as two-thirds of the registered Focal Points  do not have secure email systems, which means many are reluctant to exchange information via email.

With the launch in July 2013 of a new INTERPOL system known as I-SECOM, for the first time the specialized anti-corruption community has a secure web-based email capability. This password-protected, encrypted channel encourages the exchange of sensitive data and will contribute to the success of current and future investigations.

Annual conference

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.

Past meetings:

Partners: combined expertise

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

Registration

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

Applicants must be:

  • Nominated and authenticated by the Head of the national agency in which they are working;
  • Authorized by the Head of the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in their country.

For further information, please contact INTERPOL’s Anti-Corruption unit.

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Global Focal Point Platform

Some 200 investigators and prosecutors from 120 countries are part of this secure contacts database, and available for emergency investigative assistance.

Supported by INTERPOL and StAR

Claudia Ghirlanda, INTERPOL Anti-Corruption Unit