Virgil Ballakistan

Investigation Specialist

Virgil joined the Basel Institute’s International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR) as Investigation Specialist in May 2018.

Virgil began his career with the South African Police Service, where he had various positions including commercial crime and fraud investigator to Commander of the Crime Prevention Unit. During his career in the South African Police Services Virgil was responsible for establishing the Crime Intelligence Unit at precinct level with the objective of gathering intelligence within the notorious gangland of the Cape Peninsula.  Due to his in-depth knowledge, Virgil regularly provided expert testimony as a gang violence specialist in criminal court proceedings involving high profile gangsters and related parties. He has also worked as an economic crimes investigator for Interpol NCB Pretoria during which he played an integral part in establishing mutual relations with other global law enforcement agencies; inter alia: United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, United States of America and Philippine National Police to name a few.  A career highlight within Interpol was when Virgil was selected as part of a team of specialist investigators to draft a best practice manual for Interpol investigators on the methodology to investigate Advance Fee Fraud (commonly known as Nigerian 419 Scam).

Prior to the establishment of the now defunct Scorpions, Virgil was a Commercial Crime and Fraud Investigator with the National Directorate: Office for Serious Economic Offences.  The unit operated in a Multi-Disciplinary approach investigating complex economic crimes involving politicians and other high profile individuals.  Virgil soon ventured into the private sector and worked with Deloitte & Touche and EY on forensic investigations. His latest tenure was as the Deputy Director of forensic investigations for the Government of Western Cape where his focus was investigating complex procurement related matters that involved corruption on a grand scale.