Bangkok (Thailand), 25 May 2023 – Asset recovery is a global priority, recognized by the United Nations General Assembly and included in the Sustainable Development Goals and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development. The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) establishes the recovery and return of the proceeds of corruption as a fundamental principle and emphasizes international cooperation in this regard.
In this context, UNODC and Thailand’s Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (ONACC) organized an International Seminar on Enhancing Capacity to Recover Stolen Assets in Southeast Asia, which took place from May 23 to 25, 2023, in Bangkok, Thailand. This conference aimed to strengthen cooperation among Southeast Asian countries to collect intelligence and evidence for tracing stolen assets internationally, promote beneficial ownership transparency, enhance understanding of legal and institutional frameworks for asset recovery, and share best practices and guidelines on asset management and return to the country of origin.
The event gathered representatives from law enforcement authorities, anti-corruption agencies, financial intelligence units, and agencies responsible for managing recovered stolen assets from twelve Southeast Asian countries. The sessions covered topics such as international legal frameworks, preventing money laundering, beneficial ownership transparency, investigative tools, case studies, legal and institutional frameworks for asset recovery, and returning assets to the country of origin.
The seminar included interactive sessions such as group work, a plenary discussion, and an asset recovery quiz to actively engage participants. It provided a platform for knowledge sharing and exchanging good practices to strengthen asset recovery efforts in the region and globally.
Representatives from participating countries expressed a consistent need for technical assistance from UNODC and encouraged the organization to continue organizing similar events. They emphasized the importance of international cooperation and knowledge sharing to enhance asset recovery capabilities among countries in the region and globally.
Overall, the seminar provided a platform for Southeast Asian countries to strengthen their capacity to recover stolen assets through international cooperation, legal frameworks, and sharing of best practices. It aimed to contribute to the global fight against corruption and promote sustainable development by ensuring that stolen assets are returned to their rightful owners.
This activity was funded by the Kingdom of Denmark, the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Korea (KMOJ), and ONACC.
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A description of a presentation given to police cadets on the relationship between corruption and transnational organized crime held in Thailand in January 2023 can be found here.