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.

In many countries, criminal investigations are primarily directed towards the investigation of the underlying criminality. It is still comparatively rare for investigators, as a routine part of the investigation of major proceeds-generating offences, to “follow the money”. To trace money and property successfully, the investigator must be equipped to uncover and identify ownership interests often camouflaged by changes in the form and nature of the ownership.