02. October 2015

Follow-up financial investigative techniques workshop within the 3-year initiative on "Mapping and Visualising Cross-Border Crime" in partnership with JDN and the Rise Project


Within the context of the three-year initiative on "Mapping and Visualising Cross-Border Crime” funded by the Swiss-Romanian Co-operation Program which was launched in 2014, experts from the ICAR conducted the second training workshop in Bucharest during 30 September – 1 October 2015. The workshop was once again conducted in partnership with two Romanian non-profit organisations, the Journalism Development Network (JDN) and the Rise Project.

The training workshop covered a variety of topics such as an introduction to ICAR’s existing tools that support investigative processes, JDN’s research platform “Investigative Dashboard” and online data visualisation platform “Visual Investigation Scenarios”, and financial investigative techniques. It also dealt with the use of offshore structures to conceal beneficial ownership, and the virtual currency, Bitcoin, to launder the proceeds of crime. One of the practical exercises required participants to put themselves in the position of the money launderer and to develop a scenario from a basic set of facts which would allow them to bring the proceeds of the crime into Romania. This enhanced their understanding of mechanisms often used by criminals for personal benefit.

It was attended by a total of 45 presenters and participants, including investigative journalists, law enforcement officers and bankers (compliance officers), a judge from the Court of Appeal, officers/representatives from the Directorate for Investigation of Organised Crime and Terrorist Offences, National Anti-Corruption Directorate, National Agency on Fiscal Administration, General Inspectorate of the Police (Financing of Terrorism and Money Laundering), Ministry of Justice, due diligence companies (private sector), a representative from the Defence Committee in the Romanian Senate.

Thomas Stauffer, Head of the Swiss Contribution Office of the Embassy of Switzerland in Romania, attended the workshop closure, emphasising in his closing remarks the contribution Switzerland makes towards EU efforts to reduce the disparities between EU countries through projects of this nature.