23. May 2017

ICAR to deliver training programme on Financial Investigations and Asset Recovery in Bulgaria

In order to tackle the widespread corruption in Bulgaria, the Centre for the Study of Democracy, a Bulgarian inter-disciplinary public policy institute, has partnered with the Basel Institute to provide technical assistance, under the Bulgarian Thematic Fund Security Project “Overcoming institutional capacity gaps to counter corruption and organized crime in Bulgaria”.

Experts from the International Centre for Asset Recovery conducted a scoping mission in Sofia, Bulgaria during March 2017 in preparation for a training programme targeting the eight key institutions charged with operating critical functions in the fight against corruption and money laundering. These institutions include, amongst others, the State Agency for National Security, Commission for Illegal Assets Forfeiture and Prosecutor’s Office.

ICAR will deliver a five-day training programme on Financial Investigations and Asset Recovery from 29 May – 3 June in Sofia. It will take practitioners from the selected institutions from the basics of financial investigative techniques and asset tracing to a very advanced level, by requiring the participants to personally and practically perform complex financial and asset recovery investigations.

The forfeiture of illegally acquired assets in favour of the state is not a novelty in Bulgaria. During the scoping mission, of particular interest were discussions held with the Commission for Illegal Asset Forfeiture with regard to the application of the civil asset forfeiture provisions. Under the model adopted by Bulgarian law, subject to forfeiture to the state are any illicit proceeds and other ill-gotten property, regardless of where they are physically located, or in whose possession they may be. There is no requirement that the assets should be proceeds or instruments of crime. The training workshop will focus on the importance of applying these provisions in practice.