24. May 2022

Train-the-Trainer programme on financial investigations and asset recovery gets underway in Kosovo

Kosovo training programme May 2021
Training participants used their newly gained skills to investigate a complex corruption and money laundering case in the Kosovo context.

Kosovan financial investigators, police, prosecutors and judges have completed the first phase of an intensive Train-the-Trainer (TTT) programme on financial investigations and asset recovery.

Led by our International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR) training team in conjunction with UNDP and the Kosovo Judicial Academy, the five-phase TTT programme aims to result in four or five ICAR Certified Trainers while simultaneously training other local participants in the process.

Following their certification, the Kosovan trainers will go on to deliver the training to their counterparts as a formal part of Kosovo’s judicial training programme.

Supporting Kosovo’s anti-corruption efforts

The five-day training workshop, which took place in Prizren, Kosovo from 16–20 May 2022, was part of the Support to Anti-Corruption Efforts in Kosovo (SAEK III) project of UNDP Kosovo.

The Basel Institute is an implementing partner of the project, which seeks to reduce corruption in Kosovo by strengthening monitoring and oversight mechanisms of institutions to perform in an efficient, transparent, accountable and gender-sensitive manner. It is funded  by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) office in Kosovo and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

The TTT programme is an integral part of our efforts to sustainably enhance the capacity of investigators and prosecutors in Kosovo to successfully investigate and prosecute corruption and money laundering cases, and recover assets. It follows a February 2020 training programme on the same topic, in which the 25 participants were specifically challenged to make use of Kosovo’s recent Law of Extended Powers on Confiscation of Assets.

Why financial investigations training?

A financial investigation is an important tool in detecting money laundering, terrorist financing and other serious crimes, as well as in enabling the freezing, seizure and confiscation of the proceeds of crime. Financial investigation in complex corruption and money laundering cases requires specialist skills and techniques in intelligence gathering, prosecution strategies and asset tracing, among others.

Of these techniques, one of the judges at the May 2022 training was particularly complimentary about Source and Application analysis, a method to organise and present financial evidence gathered during an investigation in a way that highlights or identifies illicit or unknown income.

Putting such skills and techniques into practice requires a thorough knowledge of relevant Kosovan legislation, and a deep understanding of the legal and practical processes and procedures for recovering assets abroad.

To tie these elements together, the centrepiece of the ICAR training programme is an extensive hands-on practical exercise in which the participants actually conduct a Kosovo-specific simulated investigation.

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