Network of Prosecutors from Source, Transit and Destination Countries in Response to Transnational Organized Crime

Since its launch in May 2014, the UNODC initiative "Establishing/Reinforcing the Network of Prosecutors and Central Authorities from Source, Transit and Destination Countries in response to Transnational Organized Crime in Central Asia and Southern Caucasus" (the CASC networking initiative) has tangibly contributed towards, inter alia, bridging the gaps among competent national authorities designated to handle requests for mutual legal assistance and extradition at the interregional level. In particular, participation in the plenary meetings of the CASC network has so far led to the establishment of fruitful communication channels between the competent national authorities of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and the USA, as well as Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Sweden.

" I'm sure that international cooperation only works or works better when you know each other" noted National Public Prosecutor on Asset Recovery of the Public Prosecution Office for Serious Fraud, Environmental Crime and Asset Recovery of the Netherlands, Mr. Dirk ten Boer at the CASC Third Plenary Meeting (23-25 June, Yerevan, Armenia), which addressed issues of informal and formal international cooperation for the purpose of recovery of proceeds from organized crime. The participants of the meeting acknowledged that the format of the CASC plenary meetings has so far allowed frank discussions based on concrete cases and produced results in a short time.

Apart from serving as a forum for establishing and strengthening professional contacts, as well as streamlining pending criminal cases, the initiative provides an opportunity for the CASC states to improve their knowledge and skills in prosecuting complex cases including new types of crime that emerge constantly. Thus, an inter-regional training workshop held under the CASC initiative on 31 March - 1 April in Ashgabat facilitated the exchange of 'know-how' and best practices for detection and investigation of the laundering of crime proceeds committed through the use of electronic money and virtual currencies.

To further international cooperation the CASC networking initiative also develops and disseminates practical tools. For instance, the tips provided by the participants of the CASC Second Plenary Meeting on sharing practices in requesting and providing digital evidence in organized crime investigations and prosecutions, held in Tbilisi from 9 to11 December 2014, were summarized in the document entitled Basic tips for investigators and prosecutors for requesting electronic/digital data/evidence from foreign jurisdictions. The document was found to be very useful and applicable not only in the CASC region, but globally. Therefore, it was posted on the UNODC webpage in both English and Russian versions: and