20. January 2021

Mozambique: Asset Recovery Bill becomes law, heralding new era in the fight against corruption

Mozambique new asset recovery bill
The new law will open up more opportunities to investigate and return stolen meticais to the Mozambican people

Our partners and team of asset recovery specialists in Mozambique are celebrating the entry into force of a new law on asset recovery. It significantly extends Mozambique’s capability to recover illicit assets arising from corruption and other criminal activity.

The team of experts from our International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR) supported the Mozambique Office of the Attorney General in its contributions to the proposed asset recovery law. The team will continue their support following the law’s enactment, as part of a long-term assistance programme funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

New possibilities for recovering illicit assets

The law, entitled Regime Jurídico Especial de Perda Alargada de Bens e Recuperação de Activos, has now been published in the official gazette. It introduces:

  • New provisions for traditional confiscation of assets as well as extended confiscation (perda alargada). The clear and straightforward wording of the law will help prosecutors and judges to understand the important distinction between these types of confiscation.
  • Provision for a basic form of non-conviction based confiscation of assets as part of criminal proceedings.
  • A special regime for gathering evidence that empowers prosecutors to order the breaking of banking and tax secrecy rules to obtain evidence.
  • The creation of an Asset Recovery Office within the Attorney General’s Office. This formalises the work of the Multidisciplinary Team that our ICAR team has been working hard to develop over the last two years. These multidisciplinary teams or offices help to build sustainable specialist capacity and to facilitate inter-agency and international cooperation.
  • The creation of an Asset Management Office within the department responsible for managing state property.

Milestones and the journey ahead

These are huge milestones in Mozambique’s efforts to recover the proceeds of corruption and other crimes.

We congratulate Mozambique on this step and highlight the strong support provided by the Attorney General Beatriz Buchili, who last year emphasised the need for approval of the Asset Recovery Bill in her annual address to parliament.

We look forward to continuing to support our partners as they face the challenge of implementing and maximising the potential of the new law.

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