UNODC and partners hold International Forum on Financial Investigations in Almaty

Today’s global agenda includes investigation of financial crimes, asset recovery, analytical tools and required pool of measures to conduct parallel financial investigation. UNODC jointly with the Academy of Law Enforcement Agencies under the General Prosecutor’s Office of Kazakhstan (Academy) and OSCE Programme office in Nur-Sultan organized an International Forum on Financial Investigations and Interaction of competent bodies for combating the legalization of criminal proceeds on 21-23 June in Almaty UN building.

Over 40 representatives of more than 20 competent authorities of Central Asian Countries and Southern Caucasus took part in the Forum. The event gathered international speakers from Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Specialists in AML/CFT discussed issues of financial intelligence, search for foreign assets based on open and closed sources.

The Academy of Law Enforcement Agencies Rector Mr. Suleimenov stated in him opening remarks: “Currently, discussions are underway about conducting a financial investigation within the framework of criminal prosecution or its allocation outside the norms of the Code of Criminal Procedure.It must be admitted that there is no judicial and investigative practice to prove the criminality of the origin of financial assets and their legalization. And here, it is important and useful for us to hear the experience of our foreign colleagues. As a result of the forum, it is proposed to develop recommendations for improving investigative practices and developing informal cooperation on the return of capital”.

Mr. Yelemessov, Deputy Chair to the Agency on Financial Monitoring of Kazakhstan emphasized the importance of the financial investigations in combating money laundering: “In September, our country will have to undergo a mutual assessment to compliance with FATF standards. The entire national anti-money laundering system, including law enforcement agencies, will be evaluated. Particular attention is paid to the effectiveness of the work of law enforcement agencies to identify and confiscate criminal proceeds”.

Mr. Aliaksandr Vadziany, one of the forum moderators, Regional Adviser to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, on Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, noted that in modern conditions, any rule of law state pays attention to the effectiveness of combating illegal financial flows, money laundering, terrorist financing.

“We are all aware that, in accordance with the standards of practice, it is necessary to implement elements of technical compliance. In this regard, very serious work has already been done in the Republic of Kazakhstan. At the same time, it is necessary to pay increased attention to the implementation of these provisions, to see how they work in life” Mr. Vadziany said.

The Forum brough to discussion important aspects of investigative and judicial practice and prosecutorial supervision in cases of this category, the interaction of interested bodies to counter the withdrawal of capital, instruments of international mutual legal assistance and the possibilities of informal networks.

Based on the result of the Forum UNODC will unite discussed issues and develop a manual with recommendations on conducting parallel financial investigations, mutual legal assistance, asset recovery and financial intelligence.

This project is carried out as part of UNODC programme in Central Asia and the framework of the UNODC Global Programme Against Money Laundering with financial support from the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs of the US. Department of State.

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