UNODC, Singapore collaborate to boost corruption investigations in the Asia-Pacific

UNODC, Singapore collaborate to boost corruption investigations in the Asia-Pacific. Image: UNODC13 June 2018 - Singapore's Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) teamed up to conduct a training course on "Combating Corruption: Financial Investigations Techniques and International Cooperation Mechanisms."

The course, recently held in Singapore, aimed at improving the knowledge and capacity of investigators and prosecutors that handle financial crimes and corruption cases with tools for better planning and monitoring. 

The training sessions, made up of lectures, debates and practical exercises, covered a variety of subjects, including challenges in investigating and prosecuting corruption in the Asia-Pacific region as highlighted by the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC); forensic accounting and financial investigations; the conduct of and challenges in transnational corruption investigations; digital forensic and investigation; and mutual legal assistance. Participants also visited the Interpol Global Complex for Innovation (ICGI) in Singapore, where they toured a digital forensics laboratory and learned about Interpol's activities.

Umi Kalthum Zatil Amali Abd Karim, Special Investigator at the Anti-Corruption Bureau of Brunei said about the training course: "The programme provided me with valuable insights into Singapore's experience on financial investigations and mutual legal assistance, and I hope to actively implement the best practices I have learnt in these areas into my work."

Khemphilath Sounthala, Director of the Department for Central Institution Inspection, Government Inspection Authority of Lao PDR concurred: "The sharing of the second cycle of the UNCAC review and the key areas relevant for corruption investigations helped me pick up some areas to improve on my country's Self-Assessment Checklist."

Candice Welsch, UNODC's Chief of the Implementation Support Section within the Corruption and Economic Branch, said that criminals and proceeds of crime often travel across borders throughout the Asia Pacific, and that witnesses to or evidence of corruption are often located abroad.

"It is therefore essential for the successful investigation of corruption cases that all regional law enforcement authorities understand and apply the tools for coordinating investigation within and across national boundaries" underlined Ms. Welsch.

CPIB and the UNODC will further build on their partnership to enhance the anti-corruption capabilities of UN Member States, and to support their efforts to implement UNCAC with a view to achieving Target 16.5 of the Sustainable Development Goals (Reduce corruption and bribery in all forms). 

Participating in the event were 30 anti-corruption officials and investigators from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. 

The course was conducted under the auspices of the Singapore Cooperation Programme, which is the country's primary platform in extending technical assistance to other countries.  Over 100 countries and territories have taken part in the Programme since the inception in 1992.

Further information:

UNODC's Action against Corruption and Economic Crime

United Nations Convention against Corruption