Case & legal assistance

Experts from the International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR) work hand-in-hand with practitioners in developing and transition countries to tackle complex international financial crime cases.

Our efficient and flexible technical assistance helps advance asset recovery cases and develops skills and good practices through on-the-job coaching. That often leads to long-term reform processes to give practitioners the legal and institutional frameworks necessary to operate effectively.

Case work

ICAR's case advisory work includes long-term programmes in Ecuador, Kenya, the Kyrgyz Republic, Malawi, Mozambique, Peru, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda and Ukraine.

In these countries, we are currently assisting with close to 100 asset recovery cases. In 2017 and 2018 alone, this has resulted in the recovery of more than USD 35 million in stolen assets.

Thanks to the flexibility and specialist expertise of our team, we are able to provide quick, strategic assistance with:

  • Intelligence gathering and analysis
  • Asset tracing
  • Financial profiling
  • Investigation and prosecution strategies
  • Mutual legal assistance
  • Cross-border issues and international collaboration

Legal and policy advice

While assisting with asset recovery cases, we help to identify and repair gaps in national laws, policies and practices. Common challenges are:

  • Poorly developed processes for building and documenting cases
  • Lack of, inadequate or unclear legal framework
  • Weak/inefficient international networks
  • Lack of domestic inter-agency cooperation
  • Infrastructure and technology deficits
  • Insufficient security of staff, documents and communications
  • Agencies lacking autonomy

We also help our partner countries to meet the requirements of international treaties and recommendations, such as the United Nations Convention against Corruption, the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention and the FATF Recommendations.

Malawi – an example of how we work

Our work in Malawi illustrates the Basel Institute's multifaceted, flexible approach to supporting our partner countries.

ICAR’s partnership with Malawi, funded initially by the UK Department for International Development and from 2020 by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), began in 2013 in response to the country's Cashgate scandal. 16 Malawian companies received illicit payments from government, with USD 32 million of public funds misappropriated in six months. 

After initial interventions in these Cashgate-related cases, we expanded our support to other cases and started providing more comprehensive technical assistance to help key institutions tackle complex corruption cases. Our on-site ICAR experts are working closely with Malawi's Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Anti-Corruption Bureau and Financial Intelligence Authority on over 20 cases currently.

This case work is complemented by efforts to reinforce the country's legal and regulatory frameworks, strengthen cooperation within Malawi and internationally, and introduce new practical skills and techniques among partner agencies' staff through mentoring and training workshops. 

We also contributed to the review of the Malawi National Anti-Corruption Strategy II, with research and outreach to civil society and the private sector led by the Basel Institute’s Public Governance and anti-corruption Collective Action specialists.

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