Brazil launches project to manage seized assets

Abrão speaks during the event between Simons and Franzini

Brasília, 15 August 2014 - A technical consultancy project for managing and appropriately disposing of assets of illicit origin was launched yesterday in Brasília, as a result of the partnership between Brazil's National Secretariat of Justice (SNJ), the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

After an analysis of the Brazilian system for managing seized assets, which today is decentralized, the project 'Bienes Incautados y Decomisados en América Latina' - Bidal (Seized and Forfeited Asset Management Project in Latin America) - will propose new legislation to create a unique national body that will manage such assets.

Paul Simons, Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (Cicad), the OAS division in charge of implementing Bidal in Brazil, attended the Project presentation along with the Brazilian National Secretary of Justice, Paulo Abrão, and the Representative of the UNODC Liaison and Partnership Office in Brazil, Rafael Franzini.

"This is a win-win project for all of those involved: the State, in case the defendant is convicted, the defendant, in case he is acquitted, and the judges, who will no longer be responsible for the management of a long list of objects and properties sub judice", said Abrão.  Franzini emphasized that "Bidal is an important piece in the arsenal of tools that allows us to respond to the damage caused by organized crime and corruption".

In the present scenario, assets seized from criminal actions in Brazil may wait for years until the end of the legal action, losing their market value. "The challenges are huge, but we have all the necessary elements for this project to become the solution to a problem that worries all of us", said Simons. Bidal will improve the processes and will enhance the technical capacity of officials in charge of conducting financial and asset investigations, increasing the efficiency of the system for managing assets of illicit origins.

Further Information

Bidal is an OAS project that provides technical assistance to countries through the establishment of good governance and transparency standards in the management of assets of illicit origins, seeking maximum benefit and avoiding diversions. The consultancy will be conducted in Brazil for 24 months.

The agreement with OAS was drafted under a project for international technical cooperation between the UNODC Liaison and Partnership Office in Brazil  and SNJ, which aims to strengthen SNJ's capacity for international judicial cooperation, extradition and combatting money laundering.

It is also part of the National Strategy to Combat Corruption and Money Laundering (Enccla), which in the last four years has been devoted to studying the possibility of creating a specific fund to receive assets recovered from money laundering and corruption actions.

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