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Press release on the roundtable with the theme: “Development of a national system of financial investigations and recovery of stolen assets from abroad” (Astana, October 27, 2016)

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Today the General Prosecutor’s Office held a round table on the theme: “Development of a national system of financial investigations and recovery of stolen assets from abroad”, where a “Recovery of stolen assets from abroad” project was presented.

The round table was attended by parliamentarians, heads of central law enforcement and government agencies, representatives of international organizations, experts, crime investigators and prosecutors.

The project was initiated by the General Prosecutor’s Office in cooperation with the concerned law enforcement and special agencies with the support of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, OSCE and US Embassy.

During the presentation of the Project, Prosecutor General, Mr. Zhakip Assanov addressed his core messages. The aim of the project was to work effectively to return assets from abroad.

Noting the need for reliable barriers against illegal withdrawal of money abroad, the Prosecutor General spoke about particular examples of criminal cases, which caused enormous damage to our country. As for criminal cases initiated within 10 years - hundreds of millions of dollars have been sent abroad. He voiced ways to change the situation and concrete solutions to the challenges of criminal assets recovering, which are planned to be worked out within the Project.

Training of crime investigators and prosecutors, development of a new methodology, based on international standards and granting it with legal and regulatory status are defined as major areas of the Project.

The first group of employees of the General Prosecutor’s Office, National Bureau, State Revenue Committee and Ministry of Internal Affairs has already been trained by foreign experts. 10 national trainers will be trained; their mission will be to distribute new methodologies among investigators and prosecutors based on the Academy for Law Enforcement Authorities under General Prosecutor’s Office.

As Mr. Zhakip Assanov noted that the General Prosecutor’s Office is ready to join the global information exchange networks on assets recovery – CARIN in Europe and ARIN-AP in Asia. A request has been sent to join Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR) of the World Bank and the UN. In coming days a meeting is expected with representatives of the first review mission of the StAR, who will assist in the implementation of the Project.

According to Mr. Assanov, another important work area is the introduction of the concept of parallel financial investigations. “Each investigation from its beginning should simultaneously move in two directions – detection of financial crime and recovery of criminal assets”, - he pointed out. Therefore, in accordance with foreign experts’ recommendations an interagency working group on the recovery of stolen assets from abroad and parallel financial investigations will be established.

In addition, Mr. Assanov stressed that a Law on amnesty of citizens with regard to the legalization of their property is one of the efficient ways for assets recovery. He urged citizens to use this opportunity and highlighted that the amnesty provides very soft conditions for the legalization and in the future it will reliably protect all those, who will timely take advantage of it.

By expressing gratitude to the lecturers – international experts, representatives of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, OSCE and US Embassy for the opportunity to train our employees, share valuable experience and contribution made to the Project, the Prosecutor General assured the partners that Kazakh prosecution authorities are open for international organizations, including with regard to the recovery of assets.

Development of all preparatory documents for the Project will be finalized before the end of this year, and the implementation itself is scheduled for 2017. The outcome of this work will be the introduction of a new methodology, settlement of problematic issues of interaction between law enforcement and revenue authorities, increase of assets recovery from abroad, raising efficiency and quality of financial investigations.

Press service of the General Prosecutor’s Office 

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