I recently participated in a panel on the role of non-state actors in the recovery of stolen assets and proceeds of corruption at the 2020 International Anti-Corruption Conference, at which I presented the so-called “Russian arms dealer case”. The case is relatively small in monetary terms – around USD 700,000 plus interest – but hugely significant in terms of asset recovery efforts and international co-operation.

Peru’s Attorney General’s Office has recorded another successful use of its non-conviction based confiscation law, extinción de dominio, to recover stolen assets from abroad.

The case involves around USD 8.5 million plus interest frozen in a bank account in Switzerland since 2004. The assets derived from contracts for the purchase of overvalued MiG-29 and Sukhoi Su-25 aircraft during the government of Alberto Fujimori.

This speech was given at a preparatory meeting for the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) against Corruption in 2021.

It deals with non-conviction based confiscation as a method to recover assets stolen through corruption, and how challenges in international cooperation in these cases can and should be overcome.

See Spotlight on non-conviction based confiscation at UNGASS preparatory meeting.

In this chapter of a report by Transparencia Venezuela, Estrategias jurídicas para la recuperación de activos venezolanos producto de la corrupción ("Legal strategies for recovering Venezuelan assets that are the proceeds of corruption"), Oscar Solórzano and Stefan Mbiyavanga devise asset recovery strategies in Swiss law from a practical angle. They also identify the most important authorities in all four phases of the asset recovery process: identification, seizure, confiscation and restitution. 

Opening remarks and a presentation of key concepts by Oscar Solórzano at the side event “Living up to the spirit of articles 43 and 46 UNCAC” during the eighth session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, Abu Dhabi, 16-20 December 2019.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me please welcome you to the side event “Living up to the spirit of articles 43 and 46 UNCAC”.

Die Schweiz ist der global wichtigste Standort für die Raffination von Gold. Jahr für Jahr werden circa 2200-3100 Tonnen Rohgold in die Schweiz importiert. Der Grossteil der Importe ist auf die Geschäftstätigkeit der hiesigen Goldraffinerien zurückzuführen. Sie sollen gemeinsam rund 50-70% der weltweiten Goldproduktion in die Schweiz importieren, um daraus Goldbarren, Halbfabrikate und andere Güter herzustellen. 

Switzerland is the world leader in gold refining. Of the roughly 2,200–3,100 tonnes of raw gold imported into the country each year,  the majority is destined for Swiss gold refineries. Together these companies are estimated to refine 50–70 percent of the world’s gold production, transforming it into gold bars, semi-finished products and other goods. 

The Basel Institute's latest Working Paper explores whether, why and how gold refiners can be further integrated in efforts to prevent and combat money laundering in Switzerland. The author, Stefan Mbiyavanga, explains the background and what motivated him to write it, including pending reforms in the Swiss Anti-Money Laundering Act.