14. October 2015

ICAR presentation on global challenges in following the money for the South African Institute for Commercial Forensic Practitioners

Phyllis Atkinson and others

Phyllis Atkinson, Head of Training at the International Centre for Asset Recovery gave a presentation entitled “Global Challenges in Following the Money” on 9 October 2015 at an event hosted by the Institute for Commercial Forensic Practitioners (ICFP) in Johannesburg, South Africa.

As stated by the ICFP, a self-regulatory body mandated by its members to cohere, co-ordinate and regulate the commercial forensic profession in South Africa, the commercial environment has changed significantly in the last 20 years. It is now characterised by complex business dealings worth staggering amounts of money and increasingly sophisticated systems. These changes continue to introduce new risks as criminals are quick to exploit loopholes and gaps in the latest technologies and systems.

With the fall of the Berlin Wall, lifting of the Iron Curtain and disintegration of the Soviet Union into its component republics, new regional centres of power have subsequently emerged. Together with technological advancement and, more recently, events in the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe, this has brought about significant change; and impacted on the movement of illicit money across the globe and the challenges facing those seeking to trace and recover it.

The presentation focused on the increasingly more sophisticated ways criminals use to conceal their illicit gains, often with the assistance of trust and corporate service providers and the use of offshore structures to achieve their objectives. It also covered common problems experienced worldwide by law enforcement in proving the link between the stolen assets and the underlying criminal conduct or the link with the criminal.