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  This module is a resource for lecturers  

 

Confiscation in practice: responding to the movement of criminal assets

 

Confiscation is directed at preventing criminals from profiting from crime. Many international and regional Conventions contain provisions on confiscation. The Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988, the Organized Crime Convention and the Convention against Corruption, call for national efforts to criminalize conduct and prevent criminals from gaining profit, the very purpose for organized crime.

Articles 12-14 of the Organized Crime Convention and article 31 of the Convention against Corruption establish the measures that parties to the Conventions are expected to take on asset confiscation as a way of preventing profit from crime.

Article 12. Confiscation and seizure

1. States Parties shall adopt, to the greatest extent possible within their domestic legal systems, such measures as may be necessary to enable confiscation of:

(a)  Proceeds of crime derived from offences covered by this Convention or property the value of which corresponds to that of such proceeds.

(b)  Property, equipment or other instrumentalities used in or destined for use in offences covered by this Convention.

Specialized investigative techniques and skills to "follow the money" and trace assets effectively beyond national borders are a necessity, as is the ability to act quickly to avoid dissipation of the assets.

UNODC-World Bank Group Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) initiative

The Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) initiative is a partnership between the World Bank Groupand UNODC, which recognizes the need to eliminate safe havens for corrupt funds. It works with developing countries and financial centres to prevent laundering of the proceeds of crime and recover stolen assets under the international legal framework provided by the UN Convention against Corruption. (Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative - StAR (UNODC/the World Bank, 2007; Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative - StAR (UNODC/the World Bank; 2011)

 

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