24. November 2021

Malawian Police gain essential skills to combat money laundering and recover criminal proceeds

Financial investigations training in Malawi - group work
The 23 participants worked in groups to solve a simulated money laundering case tailored to the Malawian context – a centrepiece of ICAR training programmes

Investigators and prosecutors from the Malawi Police Service (MPS) have gained vital skills in financial investigations and asset recovery during a five-day intensive Financial Investigations and Asset Recovery training programme.

This is the first time our ICAR Training Team has been able to deliver in-person training since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As well as members of the MPS, the 23 participants included prosecutors from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions and members of the Judiciary. The training supports the objectives of our multi-year Tackling Serious and Organised Corruption programme in Malawi, which is funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Why do Malawian Police need specialised training?

Just like other Malawian agencies, such as the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) or the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), the MPS is increasingly involved in the investigation and prosecution of money laundering cases and the recovery of criminal assets.

However, one of the challenges raised during the workshop was a lack of experience and technical expertise to tackle such cases.

This is not only because of the financial analysis skills required to investigate such cases, but also the transnational nature of large-scale corruption and money laundering. This requires, among other things, the ability to draft proper mutual legal assistance (MLA) requests.

Learning new skills, applying them in day-to-day work

The flagship Financial Investigations and Asset Recovery training programme provides participants with the essential skills and simple but yet powerful tools to handle high-profile and complex financial investigations.

One Malawian investigator commented:

"This is one of the most excellent experiences so far. I have really learned a lot from our lectures, that I will surely use in my cases. I really appreciate the issues to do with money laundering, as currently I am handling a case that has that offence and I did not know how to go about it. I will surely use the knowledge gained this week in my cases as well as my daily work."

The participants were immersed in a simulated corruption and money laundering investigation during which they actively followed investigative leads, made decisions, analysed and solved problems, using the Malawian legal framework.

The experience also allowed them to reflect upon the challenges that such investigations entail and possible solutions to overcome them.

A prosecutor stated that:

“The course has added some useful value as far as my daily work as a prosecutor is concerned. From now on, I will be able to guide the investigators who are investigating the financial crimes on how best we can successfully corner the perpetrators. As a prosecutor, I will be able from now on to apply for forfeiture orders wherever it is necessary. I can now easily prosecute financial crime-related offences.”

Learn more

  • The ICAR training team delivers a range of tailored, high-impact training programmes to government partner agencies around the world. Find out more and download a brochure in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.
  • ICAR also offers free, interactive eLearning courses on critical skills in conducting financial investigations, gathering intelligence and international cooperation, including drafting MLA requests. Register on our virtual learning platform, Basel LEARN, and start learning today!