Investigators meet in Guernsey to discuss international cooperation on asset recovery

0

On 8-9 October 2015, Europol – in its function as the permanent secretariat of CARIN (the Camden Asset Recovery Inter-agency Network) – is coordinating the annual CARIN meeting.

This year’s CARIN event is hosted by the current CARIN Presidency of Guernsey. Guernsey is a Crown Dependency of the United Kingdom, a long-standing and active member of CARIN, a member of the Steering Committee for over five years, and a jurisdiction that meets the highest international standards in fighting financial crime and cross-border cooperation.

CARIN is a network of judicial and law enforcement expert practitioners in the field of asset identification, seizure and confiscation. There are currently 54 countries and jurisdictions and nine international organisations that are members of the network. All EU countries are represented in CARIN, together with non-EU jurisdictions such as the United States of America, South Africa, Australia, Canada, Russia and Switzerland, as well as Guernsey. Europol, Eurojust, OLAF, the UNODC, and the International Criminal Court are also CARIN Members. CARIN is now recognised globally as an effective tool to fight international crime.

There are two focuses for the 150+ CARIN experts, who have gathered together in Guernsey with the combined aim to increase the effectiveness of asset recovery as an important tool to fight crime:

Progressing asset recovery using joint investigation teams (JITs) and parallel investigations

The practical aspects of investigating ‘beneficial ownership’ issues for proposed asset identification, freezing, seizure and confiscation.

Europol’s Criminal Asset Bureau is currently active in promoting the identification and confiscation of criminal proceeds as an integral part of mainstream policing in the EU. Holding the secretariat of CARIN remains high on the list of Europol priorities, utilising the experts within this network to ensure that all ongoing investigations supported by Europol have an asset identification component.

In the first six months of 2015 the CARIN secretariat has supported 80 asset recovery cases in total. Half of these cases involved cooperation with regional asset recovery networks in Asia Pacific, Africa and Latin America. The main role for Europol is to facilitate timely cooperation between the investigators and prosecutors which is essential for the successful identification and freezing of criminal proceeds on a global level.