2-day event in Romania marks successful completion of Swiss-Romanian Co-operation Programme

In his opening remarks, His Excellency, Mr Urs Herren, Swiss Confederation Ambassador in Romania, emphasised how important it is to enhance the investigation and asset recovery capacities of Romanian law enforcement and justice authorities, mandated to investigate and prosecute financial crimes and recover stolen assets. He thanked the trainers from the International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR), a part of the Basel Institute on Governance, for providing specialised training, workshop and other activities to national actors under a project entitled “Further enhancing the investigation capacities of the Romanian judiciary by improving the asset recovery competences”. This long-term project was co-financed by a grant from Switzerland and enjoyed particular support from the National Agency for the Management of Seized Assets (ANABI).

Training was conducted in the form of training workshops for a total of 125 participants, over the course of five workshops during 2017, and included developing and delivering a Train-the-Trainer (TTT) component for six selected participants of the workshops. The final 2-day event took place in Bucharest on 12-13 June 2018 and was attended by 35 prosecutors and investigators. It provided an opportunity for the certified trainers to showcase their new skills as trainers and share practical information with peers. The ICAR trainers also gave presentations on the use of Bitcoin to launder proceeds of crime, and a review of the critical components of a criminal investigation into offences, which simultaneously cause prejudice to the State and others and result in benefit to the criminal.

ANABI encourages an integrated approach to asset recovery by combining support to Romanian criminal prosecution and investigation bodies with assistance in international co-operation, the management of seized assets and social reuse of confiscated assets. The General Director of ANABI, Mr Cornel-Virgiliu Călinescu, highlighted the significant role, which ANABI can play in supporting the asset seizing and confiscation process, and the practical assistance it can provide in tracing criminal assets. Given ANABI’s membership of the CAMDEN Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network (CARIN), this further enhances its ability to trace assets held abroad.