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Wednesday, September 2 • 18:00 - 20:00
It's Never Too Late to Mend: The Benefits of Engaging in Recovering and Returning Stolen Assets

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Asset recovery is critical to restoring the trust of people in two ways. On the one hand, the recovery of assets is considered an essential way to sanction criminal actions and reduce the incentives for corruption. As such it strengthens the effectiveness of the legal framework and bolsters the rule of law, which in turn enables more equal access to justice which is an essential component of citizens’ trust in the functioning of state institutions. On the other hand, returning stolen assets to their original purposes, often also serving to compensate victims, directly or indirectly, who have suffered from the underlying crimes, enables to restore peoples’ trust in the justice system and its ability to sanction and, more importantly, undo to a point the harm caused by crime.

It is money laundering and other illicit financial transactions that enable the corrupt to hide the proceeds of their crimes and benefit from them. Therefore it is essential for the fight against corruption to make clear to the corrupt that their loot is not safe anywhere and to eliminate all loopholes and safe havens for illicit financial flows. Illicit financial flows are also a development issue, as it is a general consensus that illicit financial outflows from developing countries likely exceed inflows of international aid and investment in volume. Consequently, it is equally critical to recognise that once stolen assets have been confiscated, they must be returned to the country and purpose of origin through mechanisms that ensure transparency and accountability and that gives consideration to victims, to the original purpose of the stolen funds, and to developmental impacts that returned assets can have. Thus, the session will examine good practices in investigation and prosecution in asset recovery cases. It will also examine good practices in asset return, and specific examples will be reviewed (e.g., Kazakhstan, Nigeria, as well as future cases such as Ukraine and Tunisia).

The main objectives of the session is to present the challenges surrounding the asset recovery process with a view to ensuring that involved jurisdictions devote the necessary resources to investigate stolen assets and ensure that corruption-related offences do not remain unpunished. Furthermore, showing the results of these efforts – the return of these assets to the country of origin – will send the message that government officials do not operate above the law.

Moderators
avatar for Pedro Gomes Pereira

Pedro Gomes Pereira

Senior Asset Recovery Specialist, Basel Institute On Governance
Pedro Gomes Pereira has over 10 years’ experience in asset recovery, anti-corruption and the fight against organised crime and money laundering. He assists jurisdictions in developing and implementing case strategies and supports countries and international organisations in assessing their current anti-corruption and AML practices, structures and legal mechanisms, with a focus on the recovery of stolen assets, mutual legal assistance and... Read More →

Speakers
YB

Youssef Belgacem

Project Coordinator, I Watch Tunisia
Youssef Belgacem has a Bachelor Degree in English and he is now an International Relations Master’s Degree student. He is one of the co-founders of I WATCH Tunisia organization. I WATCH is a Tunisian watchdog organization created after the revolution in March 2011. It works mainly on two axes: Guaranteeing transparency and fighting corruption. It has become Transparency International’s national contact in Tunisia since 2013. Youssef... Read More →
avatar for Cornel Calinescu

Cornel Calinescu

Head, Romania’s National Office for Crime Prevention and Cooperation with Assets Recovery Offices
Mr. Călinescu is the Head of Romania’s National Office for Crime Prevention and Cooperation with Assets Recovery Offices since 2010, with a sound background in criminal law, high-level expertise in corruption and organised crime issues, as well as practical experience in international relations and project management. During his 15 years activity, Mr. Calinescu was involved in drafting and coordinating the implementation of national and... Read More →
MC

Maita Chan-Gonzaga

Law Professor, Ateneo de Manila University
Maita Chan-Gonzaga is Law Professor at the Ateneo de Manila University (Philippines). Her areas of interest include political law and legal ethics. Prior to joining academia in 2015, she served as Commissioner (rank: Undersecretary) of the Presidential Commission on Good Government, having been appointed by President Aquino in September 2010. Professor Chan-Gonzaga obtained her degree in Psychology, cum laude, from the Ateneo in 1997. She... Read More →
DC

Daniel Claman

Principal Assistant Deputy Chief, International Unit, Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, U.S. Department of Justice
Since 1998, Mr. Claman has specialized in international money laundering and forfeiture for the U.S. Justice Department, where he serves as Principal Assistant Deputy Chief of the International Unit of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section.  He currently leads a team of attorneys responsible for the Department’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, which investigates and litigates to recover proceeds of foreign official... Read More →
avatar for Ji Won Park

Ji Won Park

Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (Star)
Ji Won Park is an attorney with two decades of experience in government, private sector, and civil society organizations in the United States and South Korea. At the Financial Market Integrity Unit of the World Bank and the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR) since 2009, her projects include The Puppet Masters: How the Corrupt Hide Stolen Assets Using Legal Structures and What to Do about It, Left Out of the Bargain: Settlements in Foreign... Read More →
avatar for Robert Steiniger

Robert Steiniger

Staff Counsel - Public Prosecutor, German Federal Ministry Of Justice
Since July of 2014 Robert Steiniger is working in the field of Criminal Law Suppression of Economic Crime, Computer Crime and Corruption-related Crime in the German Federal Ministery of Justice and Consumer Protection in Berlin. From 2010 to 2014 he worked as a public prosecutor for Economic Crime. Here he gained practical experience in the area of asset recovery. From 2009 to 2010 he worked as a civil judge at the District Court. Before his... Read More →

Session Coordinators
avatar for Fabian Klemme

Fabian Klemme

Officer Responsible for Implementation, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Fabian Klemme is a German qualified lawyer specialized in public international law and human rights. He joined GIZ in 2012 working with the Anticorruption and Integrity Program. Since the launch of GIZ's Project "Combatting Illicit Financial Flows" in 2015 he is responsible for the projects activities in the fields of anti-money laundering, international cooperation in criminal matters and asset recovery as well as inter-agency cooperation... Read More →
avatar for Lena Diesing

Lena Diesing

Governance Advisor, Oecd
Lena Diesing is a governance advisor at the OECD’s Development Cooperation Directorate. She focuses on the development impacts of illicit financial flows and related phenomena, such as organised crime.  Previously, Lena Diesing worked in the financial industry, conducting due diligence reviews for a risk management firm. She supported banks in preventing involvement in money laundering, terrorism, corruption and related activities... Read More →

Rapporteur
avatar for Lena Diesing

Lena Diesing

Governance Advisor, Oecd
Lena Diesing is a governance advisor at the OECD’s Development Cooperation Directorate. She focuses on the development impacts of illicit financial flows and related phenomena, such as organised crime.  Previously, Lena Diesing worked in the financial industry, conducting due diligence reviews for a risk management firm. She supported banks in preventing involvement in money laundering, terrorism, corruption and related activities... Read More →


Wednesday September 2, 2015 18:00 - 20:00
Hall 6

Attendees (29)