Asset recovery is a critical tool in the fight against corruption and organised crime. But what happens after assets have been confiscated? How can they be most effectively repurposed, in order to contribute to sustainable and equitable development? 

This Quick Guide examines the various approaches that states take along these lines – how they allocate recovered funds towards general government spending, redirect assets towards public interest causes or repatriate assets to their country of origin. 

This case study describes how authorities in Kenya and Jersey worked together to unlock progress in a long-running case involving around USD 3.7 million in corruptly acquired funds.

The money was held in the bank account of the shelf company Windward Trading, which was used to channel corrupt payments relating to power generation in Kenya.

Claims that Switzerland is “paternalistic” in its approach to returning stolen assets to their rightful countries are simplistic, argues Senior Asset Recovery Specialist Oscar Solórzano in this opinion article for Swiss news and information platform Swissinfo. The article is available on the Swissinfo site in German and Spanish.

What are best practices to promote transparency and accountability in the return of stolen assets?

This was the focus of a side event of the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group on 9 October 2019 at the OECD headquarters in Paris. The event gathered authorities and experts from the G20 countries plus international organisations including the World Bank and United Nations.

This Working Paper aims to contribute to the international policy dialogue on the link between asset recovery and countries’ pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals.

It contends that supporting countries in recovering stolen assets and promoting sustainable development are mutually reinforcing. It also aims to correct the false reputation of asset recovery as a very technical legalistic field of development cooperation, and to generate broader understanding of the far-reaching role that asset recovery can play to foster development.