Congratulations to Malawi on achieving the first ever non-conviction based forfeiture order under the new Financial Crimes Act of 2017. We are delighted to have been able to support our partners in Malawi's Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Anti-Corruption Bureau, Financial Intelligence Authority and Malawi Police Service in this precedent-setting case.

As we have all become painfully aware, our lives can be brutally disrupted by animal-borne viruses like covid-19 that can sicken and kill people and devastate the global economy – in only seven months. We also know that the current pandemic is only the latest in a series of such wildlife-related diseases that are occurring more frequently and becoming more deadly.

The success of the Construction Transparency Initiative (CoST) in Malawi shows the impact Collective Action can have on addressing corruption and levelling the playing field even in difficult environments. But it needs perseverance, leadership and systematic efforts to drive policy change, as our interview below with Joe Chingani, Chairperson of CoST Malawi, demonstrates. First, some background.

Amid the current buzz around virtual training, it's good to be reminded that effective capacity building is about a lot more than just learning new skills. Some of the most important aspects of our International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR) workshops can't easily be transferred to cyberspace.

Journalist Bertram Hill of the BBC Africa Eye Investigative Team joined media consultant Ladan Cher in March 2020 to lead an intensive open-source intelligence workshop for 13 of Malawi’s leading investigative journalists.

During the four-day workshop, the participants explored the many possibilities of open-source intelligence gathering, including:

At the opening of a five-day workshop in Malawi on Mutual Legal Assistance and the Misuse of Offshore Structures to Conceal Beneficial Ownership, the Honourable Justice Dr. Chifundo Kachale hit the nail on the head. Imprisonment alone is not enough, he said. Recovering the stolen assets sends a strong message that crime does not, and should not, pay.