At the opening of a five-day workshop in Malawi on Mutual Legal Assistance and the Misuse of Offshore Structures to Conceal Beneficial Ownership, the Honourable Justice Dr. Chifundo Kachale hit the nail on the head. Imprisonment alone is not enough, he said. Recovering the stolen assets sends a strong message that crime does not, and should not, pay.

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.

Our programme of work in Malawi, led by the International Centre for Asset Recovery with funding support from the UK Department for International Development, has been expanded to complement its original focus on corruption investigations and the recovery of stolen assets with prevention components.

These include assistance with a review of the national anti-corruption strategy, fresh engagements with the private sector and training on research methods and corruption risk assessment strategies. 

From 30 June to 4 July 2014, the Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network of South Africa (ARINSA), the United Nations Office on Drugs (UNODC) and the International Center of Asset Recovery (ICAR) conducted a joint Workshop for Prosecutors and Investigators on Proceeds of Crime and Money Laundering in Lilongwe, Malawi.

The workshop programme was designed to raise awareness of proceeds of crime and money laundering. Some 24 participants from a number of government agencies of Malawi attended the training workshop.

Those of us involved in corruption investigations and asset recovery know how important it is to gain fresh perspectives, contribute to international policy discussions, learn from others in the field and hopefully help them, too. In this spirit I am happy to share my experience from attending the 7th Session of the Conference of the States Parties (COSP) in Vienna in November 2017.

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.