Basel Institute and Peruvian Judiciary sign cooperation agreement
On 9 March 2016, the Basel Institute on Governance, through its Managing Director Ms Gretta Fenner, and the Peruvian Judiciary, through its head of the Judiciary Victor Ticona Postigo, signed a framework agreement in a bid to fight cross-border corruption and money laundering and, in turn, facilitate the return of assets arising from such crimes.
This cooperation agreement is in continuation of the long-standing cooperation between the Basel Institute's ICAR and law enforcement and other anti-corruption actors in Peru. It also will contribute positively to the "Subnational Public Finance Management Strengthening Programme" signed between the governments of Peru and Switzerland in October 2015, for which the Basel Institute acts as Implementing Agency. Media coverage of the March 9th signing is available here.
International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR)
Kenya to recover GBP 3.6 million from Jersey
Windward Trading, a company registered in Jersey, pleaded guilty on 24 February 2016 to four counts of money laundering at Jersey's Royal Court. A confiscation order was granted amounting to GBP 3.6 million and discussions are underway between the Government of Kenya, Jersey authorities and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom as to the repatriation of these assets.
The Basel Institute's International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR) has been involved in assisting the Kenyan authorities, including the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) of Kenya, in the conduct of this investigation for several years and in facilitating communication transnationally. ICAR experts continue to provide assistance and monitor the extradition proceedings underway in relation to the case. (Press release)
Lausanne IX: Expert meeting on efficient asset recovery
Specialists in international mutual legal assistance, financial investigation, intelligence gathering and asset recovery from some 30 countries and international organisations met in Lausanne from 21 to 23 February 2016 for the ‘Lausanne IX’ seminar on the efficient recovery of stolen PEP assets. The seminar was hosted by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) in cooperation with ICAR and with the support of the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR) of the World Bank and the UNODC.
At this 9th edition of the Lausanne Seminars, attending experts prepared the first part of a practical guide for the implementation of cooperation guidelines for authorities handling requests for the restitution of assets. (FDFA press release)
India: training in financial investigations and asset recovery
Experts from ICAR conducted two back-to-back 5-day country specific training programmes in financial investigations and asset recovery in New Delhi, India, from 29 February to 11 March 2016. These workshops were co-funded by ICAR and UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office in India (FCO India), and conducted as part of a technical assistance arrangement between the FCO India and the Indian Ministry of Finance Enforcement Directorate (MOF-ED).
The aim of the project was to increase the capability of the Indian MOF-ED to investigate financial crime with international links. The MOF-ED is India's sole agency entrusted with the investigation and prosecution of money laundering offences and attachment/confiscation of the proceeds of crime. Feedback provided by participants at the conclusion of the training was positive throughout, and included statements such as "It was an excellent experience interacting with experts in the field", and "It is the best course of my whole service tenure".
International Crimial Court (ICC): awareness raising seminar
On 22 and 23 February 2016, ICAR experts Phyllis Atkinson and Tom Lasich led an awareness raising seminar on financial investigations and asset recovery attended by around 100 prosecutors, investigators and other members of the ICC.
In the course of the seminar, participants were amongst others introduced to financial interviewing techniques which were subsequently put into practice in mock interviews, creating an opportunity for participants to “interview” non-financial witnesses with a view to "extracting" financial information.
Held at the seat of the Court in the Hague, this seminar is part of a series of events to strengthen the ICC's capacity in international cooperation and financial investigations that has been implemented jointly by the ICC and ICAR, with the support of the Principality of Liechtenstein.
Ghana: capacity-building workshop on management of seized/ frozen and confiscated criminal assets
The Basel Institute’s ICAR, in collaboration with the UNODC, conducted a national workshop on the management of seized/frozen and confiscated criminal assets in Accra, Ghana, from 24 to 26 February 2016.
The programme was designed to explore relevant guidelines and national and international best practices for the management of seized/frozen and confiscated assets to assist authorities in Ghana with the drafting of a national manual on the topic. The three-day seminar drew together some 24 participants from various local law enforcement agencies.
Assistance to Uganda on the National ML/TF Risk Assessment
Uganda has initiated the National Money Laundering/Terrorism Financing (ML/TF) Risk Assessment (NRA) process that aims to help countries identify, assess and mitigate ML/TF risks through the use of the World Bank's methodology and NRA tool. ICAR experts on AML/CFT will support this process in the context of the Basel Institute's involvement in the five-year multi-component programme "Strengthening Uganda’s Anti-Corruption Regime (SUGAR) Anti-Corruption Chain", led by Adam Smith International and funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).
As part of this process, ICAR from 19 to 22 January 2016 delivered a four-day training workshop in Kampala, Uganda, on the concepts and process for conducting an NRA for representatives from governmental authorities, supervisory authorities and the private sector. The goal of this training was to familiarise Uganda's key AML/CFT stakeholders with fundamental concepts related to the NRA (as required by the FATF Recommendations) as well as with the assessment process. ICAR experts also actively participated in the first NRA workshop organised by the World Bank and Uganda's Financial Intelligence Authority in Kampala from 9 to 11 March 2016.
Public Governance (Research) Division
Basel Institute receives funding for two new research projects in East Africa and post Soviet countries
The Basel Institute has been awarded two new research grants; one by the British Academy as part of its GBP 4 million global anti-corruption research scheme in partnership with the Department for International Development (DFID) in the context of DFID’s Anti-Corruption Evidence ('ACE') Research Programme; the second by DFID’s East Africa Research Fund (EARF).
The BA grant will support a 24-months research project titled “Informal Governance and Corruption – Transcending the Principal Agent and Collective Action Paradigms". Under the leadership of the Basel Institute’s Head of Governance Research, Dr Claudia Baez Camargo, this research project proposes to adopt a bottom-up perspective to understand the role that informality plays in fuelling corruption and stifling anti-corruption policies. The comparative research will look at a wider set of countries in East Africa and the former Soviet Union.
A second grant, by DFID’s EARF, provides funding for an 18-months research study on “Corruption, Social Norms and Values in East Africa”, focusing on petty corruption in order to gain a better understanding of how endemic corruption “works” from the perspective of the affected populations themselves.
Case study of Philippines on successful social accountability
Provision of expert advice to the Inter-American Development Bank
Professor Mark Pieth, President of the Basel Institute Board and Gemma Aiolfi, Head of Corporate Governance and Compliance, offered expert advice to the Office of Institutional Integrity at the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). The paper* was developed together with the IADB and addressed various aspects of international anti money laundering standards in complex tax structures in non-sovereign guaranteed operations. The collaboration also included participating in an information and experience exchange workshop with representatives from academia and a selection of internal representatives of other regional development banks in Washington DC on 13 November 2015. *The paper was for internal purposes only and will not be publicly available.
International Centre for Collective Action (ICCA)
Rwanda: public-private cooperation to counter corruption
Experts from the Basel Institute’s International Centre for Collective Action (ICCA) were in Kigali, Rwanda, on 25-27 January to support the country’s Office of the Ombudsman in developing Collective Action strategies for public-private sector cooperation to tackle corruption.
To kick-start this process, a workshop was held on 26 January in Kigali, bringing together roughly 80 participants, mostly from a cross-section of the Rwandan private sector, as well as members of the public sector, and civil society. The event was opened by the Ombudsman, Ms Aloysie Cyanzayire, and the meeting was facilitated by the Permanent Secretary of the Ombudsman’s office Mr Xavier Mbarubukeye and Gemma Aiolfi of the ICCA. The ICCA and the Office of the Ombudsman will consolidate the ideas that emerged from the discussions, presenting main resolutions and suggested activities for implementation. Read more.
The visit to Kigali by ICCA's Gemma Aiolfi and Will Nero happened to coincide with Transparency International Rwanda’s press conference on 27 January 2016 to announce the results of the 2015 edition of the Corruption Perceptions Index. (local news article one and two)
Working Paper No 21: Globale Finanzflüsse und nachhaltige Entwicklung. Handlungsmöglichkeiten der Schweiz aus Sicht der Entwicklungspolitik. Kathrin Betz/Mark Pieth. February 2016. Available on our website.
Practitioner's handbook: Tracing Illegal Assets - A Practitioner's Guide. (Ukrainian translation). International Centre for Asset Recovery. 2016. Available soon on our website.
Workshop on Financial Investigations and Asset Recovery - “Follow the money”, 28-29 April 2016, Basel, Switzerland. Further details about the workshop and the application process on our website.
Save the Date: Anti-Corruption Collective Action Conference, 20-21 October 2016, Basel, Switzerland. Visit the B20 Collective Action Hub for more information on the conference and the call for papers.