02. May 2024

New funding agreement strengthens asset recovery efforts in Mozambique

SDC funding Mozambique launch second phase
Asset recovery assistance programme in Mozambique: launching the second phase of funding.

The Basel Institute's technical assistance to the Prosecutor General’s Office in Mozambique will now continue through 2027, thanks to a second-phase agreement with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Mozambique office.

Since 2018, our locally based team has been helping to build the capacity of the Prosecutor General's Office to investigate and prosecute corruption and related financial crimes, as well as to recover stolen assets. Training support was extended to the country’s Criminal Police in 2022. 

The programme is primarily funded by SDC and is implemented through our International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR), which also benefits from core funding from the Governments of Jersey, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and the UK. 

The key priorities of the programme are targeted training and mentoring; support with civil confiscation legislation; and institutional development.

Phase one achievements: strengthened investigation capacity and legislative framework

The most significant achievements of the first phase of the intervention (2019–2023) include the strengthened financial investigation capacity embodied by the Central Asset Recovery Office (GCRA), an entity created and made operational during the programme period.

The country also made significant progress in legislative and policy reform, including the introduction of an extended forfeiture regime, a new law to strengthen the country’s AML/CFT framework and improvements to the country’s penal and penal procedural codes.

Draft civil confiscation legislation is currently with the Council of Ministers for submission to Parliament. Once adopted, Mozambique will be the first Portuguese-speaking country in the world to have civil confiscation legislation.

ICAR experts also delivered training to over 1,500 prosecutors, criminal investigators, financial investigators and judges on topics related to anti-money laundering, corruption, extended asset forfeiture, international cooperation, asset recovery and criminal investigation techniques.

Phase two priorities: targeted training and institutional development

The second phase of the programme will focus on three main areas:

  1. Continuing our collaboration with Mozambique's authorities to enhance the legal and institutional framework for anti-corruption, financial and economic crime and asset recovery, including supporting them with the approval and implementation of the civil confiscation law.
  2. Continuing our contribution to institutional strengthening by advising on the creation of further specialised entities within the Prosecutor General’s Office, and providing support the Asset Recovery Unit.
  3. Enhancing the skills of the staff of anti-corruption institutions, especially prosecutors and criminal investigators, both at the national and provincial levels. Through specialised training and on-the-job mentoring we will improve capacity for the investigation and prosecution of corruption, financial crime and asset recovery, including financial investigations and mutual legal assistance, with an emphasis on provinces where such types of crime are concentrated.

Contributing to an environment that deters corruption 

Our intervention is part of a wider SDC-funded anti-corruption programme that seeks to reduce the political, economic and social costs of corruption on development for Mozambique by creating an environment that deters engagement in corrupt practices by public servants, office holders, private companies and citizens. Other partners include the Ministry of Economy and Finance, UNODC and the Centro de Integridade Pública. Our ICAR team is assisting with coordination of the consortium in the new phase. 

“The Asset Recovery and Management Offices and the strengthening of anti-corruption legislation are among the achievements of the first phase of the programme, and we commend the staff of the Prosecutor General's Office, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, ICAR and UNODC experts for their work. We expect that the second phase will continue to improve the legislation on international legal and judicial cooperation in the fight against corruption, including through the adoption of the Law on Civil Forfeiture. We hope that the programme will also continue to improve the quality of criminal, financial and asset investigations.”

– Ilaria Dali-Bernasconi, Head of Cooperation, Embassy of Switzerland in Mozambique

“The results presented here underline the undeniable contribution of the cooperation and support programme to strengthening Mozambique's capacity to combat corruption and economic and financial crime and recovery assets. From the creation of the Central Asset Recovery Office (GCRA) to the training of its staff... We praise the efforts made by the [ICAR] team… that culminated in the approval by Parliament of the Asset Recovery Law. The results show the fulfilment of the agreement's objectives, the gains the country has made in the fight against corruption, which contributes to the country's development, the respect and integrity of the state and the well-being of our people.”

– Alberto Paulo, Deputy Public Prosecutor General of Mozambique

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