The crypto industry has exploded in recent years, and authorities in different countries have been reacting in very different ways. Some have banned cryptocurrencies, while others are embracing them to varying degrees. Some are working hard to align their anti-money laundering regulations with FATF standards, while others are turning a blind eye. A few countries have confiscated huge quantities of crypto assets linked to crime and money laundering.

In the context of the Swiss-Bhutanese cooperation framework (“DG and Democratic Governance Programme”), which seeks to consolidate Bhutan’s democratic institutions and practices, ICAR delivered a further five-day training workshop in financial investigation and asset recovery to 28 experts from the Judiciary, Office of the Attorney General, Anti-Corruption Commission, Royal Bhutan Police, Drug Regulatory Authority, Department of Revenue and Custom, Bhutan National Legal Institute, the Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan and the Royal Audit Authority.

The Basel Institute has a long-standing working relationship with the government of Bhutan covering a range of joint endeavours on developing anti-corruption policies and asset recovery. For a new project, commissioned by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), researchers from the Basel Institute worked with Bhutanese authorities to introduce social accountability concepts to support efforts to encourage citizen participation in democratic practices at the local government level.

At the recent closure of the International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR) fourth workshop in Bhutan, the Honourable Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Bureau of Bhutan, Karma Damcho Nidup, emphasised the fact that corruption was not only the purview of the ACC: “It is our collective problem. We need to find collective solutions and we need to address it collectively.”