ICAR training workshop in Malawi encourages inter-agency co-operation

The International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR) recently provided training support to the Tackling Serious Organised Corruption (TSOC) programme in Malawi. Funded by the UK Department for International Development, the aim of the programme is to increase the likelihood and severity of sanctions for serious corruption and related financial crimes in Malawi.

ICAR’s five-day workshop, which took place in Lilongwe in July 2018, focused on financial investigations, asset tracing/forfeiture and Mutual Legal Assistance. Participants also gained a deeper understanding of the Financial Crimes Act, which was passed in Malawi in February 2017 to facilitate, among other things, the tracing, freezing and seizure of goods and properties during investigations.

Among the 24 participants were representatives of the judiciary, Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Anti-Corruption Bureau, Malawi Police Service and Malawi Revenue Authority. Group work strengthened understanding of the importance of inter-agency co-operation. The practical exercise was another highlight, exposing new recruits to the rigours of financial investigations and “following the trail of the money”.

One participant, a Chief Resident Magistrate, thanked the trainers for opening her eyes to the challenges of obtaining Mutual Legal Assistance. The training had also highlighted the importance of presenting relevant evidence before court, and the role political influence could play in high-profile corruption investigations.