Following the financial trail is a daunting task, said Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo, Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), at the start of a scoping mission by the Basel Institute’s International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR).

But, she continued, although asset recovery is complex and reliant on international cooperation, it is the most effective way to curb corruption.

“Prior to this training, we thought we knew it all,” said a participant of an ICAR Financial Investigations and Asset Recovery training workshop in Comoros on 24–28 February. “But we have now realised that there is a lot we can improve on.”

Another senior participant stated that he will call a meeting of all officers under his supervision to apply the new knowledge of money laundering offences and financial investigation processes immediately to the team’s work.

Recovering criminals’ ill-gotten assets, i.e. confiscating property, cars, yachts, cash and other funds gained through corruption or other acquisitive crimes, is a big topic in law enforcement. Among other benefits, asset recovery acts as a deterrent against crime and makes a clear public statement that illicit wealth will be targeted and returned to the public treasury.

In this quick guide, Phill Jones, Senior Investigation / Asset Recovery Specialist, sets out some fundamental investigative skills that will help investigators trace even the most cleverly hidden assets.

What exactly does international cooperation mean in the context of asset recovery? This is a wider question than many people think.

It also opens up further questions, such as not only how to return more stolen assets more quickly to victim countries, but how those returned assets can best be used to support sustainable development and strengthen criminal justice systems.

Learn more in this quick guide by Shane Nainappan, Senior Asset Recovery Specialist.

Someone once said that the more knowledge is freely shared, the more it grows. Our free eLearning courses on asset tracing, intelligence gathering and financial analysis exemplify this idea.

Peter Huppertz, Team Leader IT and eLearning, explains some of the benefits of online courses for financial investigators, analysts and others who need to acquire and practise these complex skills.

Practically every country has a Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and it plays a vital role in combating money laundering and other financial crimes. Yet there is often confusion – even among anti-corruption authorities – about how it works, what it can and can’t do, and what value it brings. 

Thierry Ravalomanda, Senior Asset Recovery Specialist offers a quick overview.

View the quick guide online here.

Sophisticated and complex financial crimes span the globe. “Following the trail of the money” can involve many jurisdictions, each with their own laws and practices, and varying capacity or willingness to cooperate internationally.

Fighting corruption and money laundering, and recovering criminal proceeds, are therefore complex challenges. Specialised legal, financial accounting, analytical and investigation skills are essential.