Building capacity for corruption investigations in Southeast-Asia

One of UNODC's main objectives in the region is to strengthen UNCAC State Parties' capacities to investigate corruption cases

Posted on 30 March 2018

Representatives from the Great Mekong countries participating in the workshop, March 2018

The first cycle of review of implementation of the UN Convention Against Corruption, covering Chapter III "Criminalization and Law Enforcement" and IV "International cooperation" shows the need to strengthen the capacity of national anti-corruption agencies and other relevant law enforcement authorities to conduct corruption and financial investigations at the national and international levels; this need is becoming more pressing in light of the technological innovation allowing fast and hardly traceable transfers of funds across the region and globally.

In a three-day training, organized by the UNODC in Hanoi (Viet Nam) in March 2018, 40 participants from the anti-corruption agencies, Central Authorities for Mutual Legal Assistance, Financial Intelligence Units and Attorney General's offices from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam learned about financial investigation methods, developed a special investigation tool-kit and applied the newly acquired skills by solving hypothetical corruption cases.

The training focused in particular on the challenges for cooperation in investigating complex and cross-border corruption cases. While participants confirmed that they have the legislative framework needed to conduct the investigations, national laws often do not allow the utilization of special investigative techniques, such as controlled delivery or wiretapping, which would be extremely useful to collect evidences. The capacities of Anti- Corruption Agencies, Financial Intelligence Units and Prosecutors need to be further enhanced for addressing complex financial investigations; procedures for mutual legal assistance need to be simplified to provide more timely assistance. UNODC is currently developing a comprehensive training plan to address these issues.