Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries

UNODC supports the development of the Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network West and Central Asia (ARIN-WCA) through a regional International cooperation case-based training

2-5 September, Almaty, Kazakhstan

From 2 - 5 September 2019, in Almaty Kazakhstan, the United Nations Office of Drugs and through its Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries (RP) delivered an advanced training for the practitioners in the regional Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network West and Central Asia (ARIN-WCA) on international cooperation in the field of asset recovery.

This workshop was the third part of a RP training program which has already provided ARIN-WCA practitioners with enhanced knowledge on 'Criminal and Civil Asset Recovery Legislation, Processes and Concepts' and 'Open Source Intelligence for financial Investigation and Asset Tracing'. Representatives from law enforcement, prosecution authorities and asset forfeiture units, currently involved in asset tracing, freezing and seizure, confiscation and international cooperation from Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan worked together in groups to achieve the confiscation of assets related to a fictitious international corruption and money laundering investigation.

During the workshop, which was delivered by three highly experienced UNODC asset recovery experts, participants developed knowledge and skills in tracing criminal proceeds in a number of key jurisdictions across several continents. Focus was placed on the pre-mutual legal assistance investigative phase of asset recovery, using the numerous platforms and mechanisms that exist to identify and freeze criminally derived assets quickly.  Participants were also required to develop an asset tracing strategy and financial profile and prepare mutual legal assistance requests for several jurisdictions.  Providing participants with real life examples of the most common reasons for failure when engaging in international cooperation, and 'tips for success' from experts who have experienced the challenges was considered an invaluable experience by police officers and prosecutors engaged in this field.  Placing the participants into mixed country groups also developed familiarity among the network members, building trust and encouraging greater cooperation in the future. 

ARIN-WCA network members had the opportunity once again to meet each other and continue to build operational working relationships. Using an informal network to progress asset tracing investigations and enforce restraint and confiscation orders is still a new concept for many west and central Asia jurisdictions.Asset Recovery requires a high level of joint agency working both domestically between asset recovery practitioners within Ministries of Justice and Interior and also internationally with other regional asset recovery networks, in order to deprive criminals of their illicit wealth. This concept is at the heart of workshops such as this one, developed and delivered by UNODC experts. 

UNODC thanked the government of Finland for funding this event.