The Basel Institute, Europol and Interpol establish working group on money laundering with digital currencies
When new and innovative technologies emerge, criminals are often among the first to embrace them, in the wrong belief that this may help them to disguise their illegal transactions. There are already numerous examples of how digital currencies, and Bitcoin in particular, have been used in money laundering schemes. Yet, while such innovative money laundering operations pose new investigative challenges, some such cases have to date already been successfully investigated and prosecuted.
Considering that law enforcement agencies worldwide could benefit from the exchange of information and knowledge with peers from other jurisdictions, the Basel Institute has now joined forces with Europol and Interpol. The three organisations have established a partnership on money laundering with digital currencies, which was formalised on September 9. Click here to read the press release
Manuel Navarrete Paniagua, Head of Europol’s European Counter Terrorism Centre; Mr James Anderson, Head of INTERPOL’s Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes unit; Federico Paesano, Senior Financial Investigation Expert of the Basel Institute on Governance (from left to right)
A big step forward: Metals technology industry participates in anti-corruption Collective Action initiative
The Collective Action initiative for the Metals Technology Industry (MTI) brings together the three leading companies in the metals technology industry Danieli & C. Officine Meccaniche SpA, Primetals Technologies Limited and SMS GmbH. The International Centre for Collective Action (ICCA) at the Basel Institute has accompanied the MTI initiative since its inception in 2013, and has since been working with the group to improve and develop their anti-corruption programs. The ICCA acts as the chair and facilitator to the MTI initiative and supports this important collaborative endeavor. Click here to read the press release
Read our Annual Report 2015 and get an insight into our projects, missions and achievements
2015 has been a year with many changes for the Basel Institute. We have grown rapidly, more than doubling our staff and increasing our annual operating budget by around 60%. We have also considerably revised our operational strategy and further expanded our thematic reach. The changes are reflective of global developments and our own institutional learning, after more than 12 years of attempting to contribute to global efforts to reduce corruption and enhance governance. Click here to download the full report
International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR)
Release of 2016 Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Index
The Basel Institute has released its 5th edition of the Basel Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Index, the only research-based risk rating of countries in this field by an independent non-profit institution. Every year, the Index is composed by ICAR using a distinct methodology validated by an external peer review group to assess countries in regards to their exposure to money laundering and terrorism financing risks. See what’s new in the 2016 edition, which covers 149 countries, and the recent changes in methodology. Click here to download the report
ICAR’s signature training gains traction in South America and East Africa
Between March and September, ICAR’s training team delivered its 5-day signature training program in Paraguay, Peru and Tanzania. While ICAR has worked with Tanzania and Peruvian authorities on asset recovery for a number of years, it is partnering for the first time with Paraguay. ICAR also offered two training workshops as part of its train-the-trainer program in Uganda, within the context of the Basel Institute’s SUGAR project (“Strengthening Uganda’s Anti-Corruption and Accountability Response”). We are looking forward to continuing our capacity building work with these partner countries.
“It was very relevant to my work and it opened my understanding of analysis and investigation in regard to the Money laundering cases and their predicate offences.” (A participant's quote on the training in Uganda, August 2016)
Participants of ICAR's 5-day training program in financial investigation and asset recovery in Asunción/Paraguay, July 2016
ICAR expands its training services with focus on specialization and e-learning
New specialized training course for FIUs
ICAR’s training team chose Peru to present for the first time its new specialised training course on “Advanced On-Site Training Operational Analysis”. For the delivery of this training in Peru in early June, additional country-specific elements were added. The goal of this specialized training was to strengthen the FIU's analytical and operational capacities in financial investigation.
This new training program was developed jointly by ICAR’s legal and case consultancy, training and e-learning experts. Designed specifically for Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs), the new product combines on-site delivered e-learning components with an ICAR typical hands-on interactive practical exercise scenario.
Participant's of ICAR's Operational Analysis Training for the Financial Intelligence Unit in Lima/Peru, June 2016
E-learning course on “Operational Analysis” now online
Analysing suspicious financial activities is a key function of Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs). To enhance the capacity of FIUs worldwide, ICAR in cooperation with the Egmont Group of FIUs has developed a unique e-learning course on “Operational Analysis”.
The course is designed for FIU analysts, financial analysts in law enforcement agencies and staff members working in financial intelligence departments of private banks. It is currently available in English and Spanish and offered for free to all public institutions on ICAR's Asset Recovery Forum.
Malawi: ICAR receives UK grant to continue supporting local law enforcement agencies in fighting corruption
In September 2016, ICAR kicked off a new 3.5 year program of work in support of Malawi's key law enforcement agencies and their efforts to tackle serious corruption and related financial crimes. Financed with a grant from the UK Department for International Development, the program is a continuation and expansion of the already on-going work of ICAR - also funded by DFID - in Malawi, in the course of which two embedded experts were supporting Malawi authorities in the investigation and prosecution of the so-called Cashgate scandals. The latter continues to be a priority. Other specialists will now be added to the team, with expertise in financial investigation, prosecution of corruption, international cooperation and related specialised anti-crime fields, and the range of beneficiary institutions will be expanded to include the Malawi Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and the Drug Theft Investigation Unit (DTIU). The experts will be supported by a local program manager and program assistant as well as by ICAR staff from Headquarters.
Public Governance (Research) Division
Strengthening democratic practices: Researchers from the Basel Institute work with Bhutanese authorities on social accountability
The Basel Institute has a long-standing working relationship with the government of Bhutan covering a range of joint endeavours on developing anti-corruption policies and asset recovery. For a new project, commissioned by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), researchers from the Basel Institute worked with Bhutanese authorities to introduce social accountability concepts to support efforts to encourage citizen participation in democratic practices at the local government level.
The in-country work of July included stakeholder meetings and a workshop for government officials from the central and local levels and from civil society and academia. Findings emphasised the need to contextualise social accountability, including being sensitive to local social norms and values and focusing efforts on improving current legal provisions and stimulating better communication between local elected leaders and their constituencies.
Bhutan field mission in July 2016, led by Dr Claudia Baez Camargo, Head of Governance Research at the Basel Institute on Governance
New typology study on corruption receives international attention
The Basel Institute and the International Bar Association jointly published “The International Bar Association Judicial Integrity Initiative: Judicial Systems and Corruption.” Based on a global survey with more than 1’500 legal professionals from 120 countries, in-country consultations and literature research, the report identifies the patterns underlying corrupt behaviour in the judiciary, the types of corruption that affect judicial systems and the roles played by the various professionals operating within them.
It focuses in particular on concerns about bribery and also undue influence on judicial decisions, and the impact that these problems have on respect for the judiciary and for government as a whole. Published in May, the report has already been widely discussed, including at the IBA/OECD Anti-Bribery Conference in Paris in June and at the Vatican Conference on Human Trafficking and Corruption. Click here to download the full report
Patterns of informality: A novel approach to understanding failing anti-corruption methods
In the context of a multi-centre research project, the Institute and its partners seek to map the manner in which informality is associated with the resilience of corruption. In this innovative project, researchers shift the focus away from analysing the implementation of formal legal frameworks, regulations and policies to concentrate on informal actions and practices that may be effectively taken into consideration where conventional anti-corruption interventions have failed.
For this purpose dedicated local researchers are conducting fieldwork in Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda studying patterns of informality that are linked to high corruption levels and associated with the poor performance of conventional anti-corruption approaches. Amongst potential factors assessed in this context are the role of electoral processes in heightening corruption risks, the role of informal networks based on kinship, ethnicity as well as opportunistic considerations as well as the role that informality may play or not in two "success stories" namely Rwanda and Georgia.
Corporate Governance / Compliance Division
Why is an effective compliance program so important in business? An interview with Ms Laurie Waddy, Head of Group Compliance at LafargeHolcim
Good corporate governance plays an essential role in managing corporate risk. Primarily, it is designed to identify, manage and mitigate the risks that face companies operating in a multitude of countries and cultures. The Basel Institute regularly provides compliance advice to a wide range of industries and companies.
In the case of LafargeHolcim, one of the world’s leading multinational companies in the construction and building materials industry, with a presence in some 90 countries, the Basel Institute is providing the company tailored support in the development and implementation of its internal compliance program.
In an interview for our Annual Report 2015, Laurie Waddy, Head of Group Compliance at LafargeHolcim speaks about the importance of an effective compliance program for her company: "Operating to global standards at all times, everywhere in the world, is important to LafargeHolcim and to our customers. Maintaining those standards is critical and it is an expectation of many stakeholders that an MNC like LafargeHolcim will have an effective compliance organization empowered to ensure the consistent application of the program throughout the Group. Equally critical is the strong messaging from the leadership in the organisation that compliance is not only a priority but part of our license to operate." Click here to read the full interview
International Centre for Collective Action (ICCA)
Why anti-corruption Collective Action matters: Q&A with Gemma Aiolfi at the International Bar Association
Interviewed by Ruth Green of the International Bar Association, Gemma Aiolfi, Head of Compliance, Corporate Governance and Collective Action talks about anti-corruption programs, the Panama Papers leaks, and what companies can do to better manage and mitigate risks. Questioned by Green on her work in the field of Collective Action, Aiolfi stated:
‘Anti-corruption collective action can be an alternative to addressing systemic bribery. Companies that believe they have robust internal programmes may still face issues with competitors that don’t have the same standards'
Setting-out anti-money laundering principles for the Art trade
Right on time for the ART Basel, the world famous international art fair that takes place in Basel every year in June, the Basel Institute launched a public consultation on a Green Paper that sets out Anti-Money Laundering Principles for the Art Trade.
The idea behind this initiative is to seek to assist art traders in understanding how to mitigate the risks of money laundering in their business. In particular, such principles set out practical guidelines that provide a consistent method to manage risks in the art trade linked to Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT), with art market operators taking responsibility for the application of a risk-based approach to their business. The closing date for the public consultation was September 30.
The Basel AML/CFT Principles are building on, and published as a sub-set of the Basel Art Trade Guidelines, a self-regulatory initiative that was published by the Basel Institute for the art industry in 2012. Click here to read more
By Art Comments from New York City, USA via Wikimedia Commons
Building confidence: Panama's pilot High Level Reporting Mechanism (HLRM) targets the health sector
Launched in May 2016, the first pilot HLRM in Panama targets procurement practices in the health sector. It will allow businesses bidding to provide medical equipment for the Panama Social Insurance Fund (CSS) to file a grievance or complaint with the Corruption Prevention Secretariat (SEPRECO) in the event they have a suspicion of unfair practices or possibly bribery.
Representatives from the Basel Institute’s International Centre for Collective Action (ICCA) have been working with the Panama government agency the National Authority of Transparency and Access to Information (ANTAI) since 2015 on the development of this HLRM, including through consultations with representatives from the Panamanian business community, civil society and other government institutions.
The concept of the HLRM as a preventive tool was first developed by the Basel Institute and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) together with Transparency International. After Colombia and Ukraine, Panama is the third country to establish such a mechanism. Click here to read more