Meet us on 10 July at joint event with Chatham House in London: Recovering Africa's Stolen Assets: Lessons from the Windward Trading Case. Register here
Learn more about our training offers on financial investigations and asset recovery: Download ICAR's new training brochure.
Coming soon: Basel AML Index 2017 To be released in early August, the sixth edition of the Basel AML Index will offer an overview of 146 countries according to their risk level in money laundering and terrorist financing. Read more
The Basel Institute and the Anti-Corruption Commission of Bhutan sign official partnership agreement
Building on a long-term partnership over the last six years, the Basel Institute and the Anti-Corruption Commission of Bhutan formalised their cooperation with the official signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the Institute's headquarters in Basel. Both parties reconfirmed their mutual intention to continue to strengthen and promote their combined efforts to prevent and combat corruption in Bhutan. Read more
Gretta Fenner, Managing Director Basel Institute (left) and Kinley Yangzom, Chairperson of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) of Bhutan, 24 May 2017
Kenya and Switzerland move closer in the fight against international corruption and financial crime
The Basel Institute welcomes the signing of an official agreement to strengthen cooperation between Kenya's Attorney General’s Office and the Swiss Federal Office of Justice. They formalised their partnership in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on international mutual assistance in criminal matters, which was signed in Nairobi on 28 April 2017.
This MoU will facilitate the cooperation between the two countries in investigating and prosecuting international corruption and other financial crimes. It is a testimony to the excellent cooperation between Kenya and Switzerland in a number of high profile cases in recent years and will also help with the work that ICAR does in Kenya on a number of high profile international corruption investigations. Read more
International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR)
Professional training pays off: first money laundering conviction in Uganda
In May 2017, Ugandan prosecutors secured convictions for money laundering in the Equity Bank trial, the first case of its kind in the country. Six of the accused in this trial, involving the embezzlement of $1,450 million from the bank, were convicted by the Anti-Corruption Court in Kololo of embezzlement and money laundering, and sentenced to prison terms ranging from 5 to 12 years. The court ruled that Equity Bank was to receive $1,25 million as compensation, and vehicles, land and about $70 million as additional compensation.
One of the prosecutors of this ground-breaking trial successfully completed ICAR’s Train-the-Trainer (TTT) programme on financial investigations and asset recovery in Uganda whilst the trial was on-going. Trained by ICAR experts over a period of five months, he was certified as a trainer himself at the end of 2016.
He, as many other participants, expressed his appreciation to the ICAR trainers. The prosecutor showed a keen interest in learning to distinguish between the predicate offence and money laundering, and to focus on money laundering as a standalone crime, which can deprive a suspect of his ill-gotten gains. He also recently participated as a trainer in an ICAR workshop on Advanced Operational Analysis in Uganda, which focuses on the analysis of suspicious transaction reports in money laundering allegations. ICAR congratulates him and all others involved in the Equity Bank trial for this success.
ICAR training workshop: Advanced On-site Training Operational Analysis, 12 - 16 June 2017, Kampala
Global outreach through ICAR’s diverse training portfolio in asset recovery
ICAR continues to work closely with a series of partner countries increasing their autonomy in the fight against financial crimes and money laundering as well as in recovering stolen public funds. ICAR’s current partner countries in the context of its capacity building services include Bulgaria, Romania, Tanzania and Uganda.
In the latter three countries, ICAR launched Train-the-Trainer (TTT) programmes in financial investigations and asset recovery this year. These TTT engagements consist of several workshops in each country over the course of six to nine months. Through these TTT programmes ICAR trains up a select group of local professionals to become independent trainers. They will in future use the ICAR training methodology to train relevant authorities of their respective country themselves, and without support from external experts. These TTT programmes in Romania, Tanzania and Uganda will be completed at the end of the year.
In Bulgaria, the Basel Institute, in the context of its partnership with the Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD), a Bulgarian inter-disciplinary public policy institute, recently delivered its hallmark basic five-day training programme in financial investigations and asset recovery to a select audience of CSD. For the past couple of years, ICAR has been working closely with CSD on a number of short-term anti-corruption capacity building interventions. This partnership will continue at least through the end of this year.
Finally, ICAR is currently also engaged in two regional training programmes: one in cooperation with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) involving two workshops (in Seychelles and Zambia), and a second regional training programme in collaboration with the Commonwealth Africa Anti-Corruption Centre (CAACC), the latter which is forthcoming in Botswana. It is the first time that ICAR is partnering with COMESA and CAACC. It hopes to continue its asset recovery training outreach in Africa with support from these two regional organisations in the future.
ICAR training workshop: Advanced on-site Training Operational Analysis, 12 - 16 June 2017, Kampala
Expert support to the Prosecutor General’s Office of Bulgaria
In the context of the Bulgarian-Swiss Cooperation Programme, and building on ICAR’s previous operational engagements in Bulgaria in support of the country’s efforts to tackle corruption, ICAR is partnering with the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Bulgaria (PORB) to offer technical assistance and guidance in financial investigations and asset recovery.
In May, ICAR participated in an initial technical workshop in Sofia sharing expert input into the analysis of existing asset recovery cases, as well as into the preparation of technical guidelines for asset tracing and seizure. Subsequently, in mid-June, ICAR co-organised an expert coordination visit for members of the PORB to Switzerland where the Bulgarian delegation met with representatives of relevant Swiss institutions concerned with the fight against corruption and the trafficking of human beings. These included the Federal Money Laundering Reporting Office, the Federal Office of Police, the Federal Office of Justice as well as Switzerland’s specialised centre for the Advocacy and Support for Migrant Women and Victims of Trafficking (FIZ). Additional support activities will be forthcoming in the context of this partnership arrangement in the second half of 2017.
Public Governance (Research) Division
Looking from the inside – how does endemic corruption work?
The Basel Institute’s research project on “Corruption, Social Norms and Values in East Africa”, funded by the East Africa Research Fund (EARF), is now coming to a close after 18 months of intense field research work in Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Led by the Institute’s Head of Public Governance Research, Dr Claudia Baez-Camargo, this project has been implemented in close cooperation with a team of scholars from Makerere University (Uganda), University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and the Protestant Institute for Arts and Social Sciences (Rwanda).
The field research consisted of an in-depth enquiry into the attitudes towards petty corruption in urban and rural areas across the three countries. The goal of the research is to identify those factors influencing the propensity to engage in, resist and report corrupt transactions on the part of citizens and providers of public services.
The findings point to the centrality of informal social networks as valuable problem solving and coping mechanisms for individuals. The social networks are associated with petty corruption because they articulate strong bonds of solidarity and reciprocity on the basis of a continuous exchange of favours, which often take the form of favouritism and bribing when it comes to the delivery of essential public services.
In recent weeks, the Basel Institute’s headquarter-based research team has presented the results from this research study at various academic conferences in Europe. Currently the team is organising and delivering in-country multi stakeholder consultation workshops, together with its local researchers, in Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. Final research findings, including country-specific policy briefs, will be officially published at the end of the summer.
The evidence generated by the project will inform the next steps in the Institute’s research agenda, aimed at developing innovative anti-corruption interventions that effectively take into account the social expectations and pressures prevailing in these countries.
Corporate Governance / Compliance Division
The Basel Institute and DICO formalise their partnership
The German Institute for Compliance (DICO) and Professor Mark Pieth on behalf of the Basel Institute signed a Memorandum of Understanding in June 2017. This cooperation agreement foresees a range of joint projects being undertaken to address compliance themes relevant to the private sector, focusing particularly on preventive work. The agreement was signed at the DICO annual general meeting in Berlin where Professor Mark Pieth held a keynote speech. Read more
Signing of MoU between the Basel Institute (Prof Mark Pieth, 2nd left) and representatives from DICO, 20 and 21 Juni 2017
Basel Institute trains Rwandan bankers and journalists on money laundering and financial investigations
The Basel Institute on Governance and Rwanda’s Office of the Ombudsman convened an anti-corruption training workshop in Kigali, Rwanda on 29 and 30 June 2017. The first day provided bankers with an overview of international standards against money laundering and corruption for financial institutions, while the second day equipped journalists with practical skills in using open-source tools and databases for anti-corruption investigations. The workshop followed a participatory and practical approach with case studies and on-site exercises.
This workshop marks the continued collaboration between the Basel Institute and Rwanda’s Office of the Ombudsman to strengthen the corruption prevention capacity of the Office. The Basel Institute conducted an initial support mission to Kigali in January 2016, which resulted in the joint identification of corruption-prevention measures for the Office of the Ombudsman to pursue. This workshop responds to a follow-up request to build the capacity of Rwandan bankers and journalists to prevent and uncover money laundering and corrupt practices.
Anti-corruption training workshop in Kigali, Rwanda, 29 to 30 June 2017
International Centre for Collective Action (ICCA)
Basel Institute contributes to B20 policy recommendations
The Basel Institute has been a longtime partner of the B20 anti-corruption working groups, and during the German Presidency has actively supported the Responsible Business Conduct and Anti-corruption work of the B20 by contributing to the development of the final recommendations. These were officially handed over to German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel in May.
The B20 Recommendations were set out in a report that identified some of the most pressing global issues, which included infrastructure development as an area requiring particular focus. The lack of adequate infrastructure is recognised as one of the greatest obstacles to economic growth and social development worldwide.
The anti-corruption Recommendations that were forwarded to the G20 were as follows:
Recommendation 18: Establishing Beneficial Ownership Transparency – G20 members should increase their efforts to implement beneficial ownership transparency so that risks related to the ultimate owner(s) can be identified.
Recommendation 19: Recognize Compliance Efforts – G20 members should be supportive of a company’s proactive engagement by providing positive recognition of effective anti-corruption and compliance systems.
Recommendation 20: Enhance Responsible Business Conduct in Infrastructure Projects – G20 members should increase transparency and accountability at all stages of the project cycle in order to mitigate the risk of corruption and increase efficiency.
The B20 Collective Action Hub was established in 2013 by the B20 to promote, facilitate and support anti-corruption Collective Action in partnership with the UN Global Compact. The Hub is hosted in the Basel Institute with funding support from the Siemens Integrity Initiative. See www.collective-action.com
B20 Germany Summit 2017 in Berlin, 2 and 3 May, 2017; Copyright photo: B20
Specialised training in anti-corruption and collective action for Uzbek officials
Experts of the Basel Institute developed a specialised training on governance of state owned enterprises, anti-corruption prevention and Collective Action for a group of government officials from Uzbekistan.
The programme, which was delivered at the Basel Institute's headquarters in May, was tailored to the requirements of the participants and was based on a combination of theory and best practices with case examples and practical exercises. The participation of a range of internal and external speakers ensured lively exchanges and discussion on specific issues. We were particularly grateful to Dr Christoph Volonté from Basel University and Ms Martina Zehnder from Swiss Post for their insightful contributions to the two-day program.
Uzbek officials during their training at the Basel Institute's headquarters, 18 - 19 May 2017
How to build trust and integrity in business and government?
The Basel Institute, one of the founding members of the Board of the World Economic Forum Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI), participated in this year’s Spring meeting of the World Economic Forum Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (WEF PACI). The event focused on sharing views on how to rebuild trust and integrity in business and government. PACI’s work is driven by the active participation of its community including the PACI Vanguard Board. Key takeaways included:
A decline in power of traditional institutions and increased distrust is continuing to fuel protectionism and fear, especially in today’s rapidly changing world. Upholding trust and integrity through partnerships and public-private cooperation is the new imperative in an exceedingly interconnected and technologically advanced world.
In response, WEF PACI will continue to focus on developing three areas to rebuild trust and integrity in business and institutions: Public-private co-operation; governance and leadership; and technological progress.
Collective Action efforts in anti-corruption have evolved, although impact and results have yet to be broadly recognized. WEF PACI aims to mobilize regional networks, partnerships and coalitions to catalyse implementation of solutions on key issues.
As Collective Action continues to be an important element of WEF PACI's work, the Basel Institute will continue to support its activities and the implementation of its projects where it makes sense to do so. For more information, please contact email@example.com
We are pleased to announce the arrival of new staff members.
From left to right: Iman Alwan, Adminstrative Assistant Kateryna Boguslavska, Project Manager Basel AML Index Uchizi Chinula, Programme Assistant/ Legal Researcher, Malawi Shane Nainappan, Senior Asset Recovery Specialist, Tanzania Joel Segura, Senior Asset Recovery Specialist, Peru Leam Thompson, Senior Asset Recovery Specialist, Uganda