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Countries still face significant challenges when trying to recover the proceeds of corruption. StAR provides technical assistance to individual countries to help them overcome obstacles, which include:

  • Preventing the laundering of the proceeds of corruption
  • Investigating complex international corruption cases and generating evidence of corrupt acts
  • Tracing the location of the proceeds of corruption, which are often disguised and mingled with legitimate funds
  • Conducting legal proceedings to recover assets in cases where the accused have died, are fugitives, or have immunity from prosecution due to their position
  • Navigating different legal systems across jurisdictions where the theft occurs and where the money is ultimately laundered

StAR provides advice on policy, institutional organization and capacity building, shares knowledge, facilitates partnerships, and acts as an honest broker among different actors.

Countries can request StAR assistance by sending a written request to the StAR Secretariat Coordinator and the UNODC Country Representative, or the World Bank Country Director.

Legal Library
The Legal Library is a repository of legal knowledge related to the provisions of the UN Convention against Corruption governing the recovery of proceeds of corruption. National laws, regulations and jurisprudence are systematized reflecting the sequence of the provisions of the Convention. The Library illustrates how national legislation relates to such provisions and furnishes a practical and user-friendly way of seeing how each country is implementing them. Search engines and cross-references permit to navigate the Library and access legislation on asset recovery irrespective of the section of the Library where it is stored.

Focal Points
Attempts to recover stolen assets often falter at the first stage because the victim country does not know who to approach in the recipient country. The focal point lists are a significant step towards rectifying this problem. The focal point list will comprise contact details of law enforcement professionals readily available to facilitate immediate asset recovery action.

Stolen Asset Recovery Bibliography [PDF 273K]
The StAR bibliography contains a list of books, journal articles and reports and other working papers produced by both governmental and nongovernmental organizations which touch upon issues associated with the recovery of stolen assets in cases of political corruption. The materials listed in this bibliography focus on many aspects of the asset recovery process – from investigation and prosecution in corruption cases, to identification of stolen assets and also mutual legal assistance in situations where assets are located in a foreign jurisdiction from which a victim country seeks their return. The bibliography draws upon literature on related topics including money laundering prevention and civil asset forfeiture but does so only to the extent that they enhance understanding and policy development in the area of stolen asset recovery. StAR welcomes suggestions for additions to the bibliography and will update this list at periodic intervals. Please submit suggestions to starinitiative@worldbank.org.

Knowledge Management Consortium [PDDF 871K]
The Knowledge Management Consortium is a web-based collaborative forum that brings together international and regional institutions engaged in advancing global knowledge on anti-corruption and asset recovery. While the generation of such knowledge (reports, studies, policy papers, assessments, compilations of good practices, manuals, handbooks, directories of focal points and other tools for practitioners) remains an undertaking that such institutions may wish to carry out individually, the Consortium provides a single electronic repository, a portal of validated and state-of-the-art knowledge on asset recovery available to those seeking quality information.

Training and capacity development are critical to having effective international asset recovery. Given the time and expertise necessary to successfully pursue international asset recovery cases, many developing countries view the challenges as enormous. They are often confronted with having limited knowledge of the process for return of assets and staff that have little or no background in doing so. This is further complicated by staff rotation and the lack of tools to meet what are often difficult legal demands by countries whose financial institutions are holding those assets, such as chain of evidence requirements.

During the past year StAR has financed or co-financed workshops and training courses, experimenting with different course designs, lengths and staffing. Three important lessons can be drawn from StAR’s experience. First, there is an acute shortage of technical skills in some jurisdictions. Training can help bridge this skills gap, providing an introduction to some of the technical skills that practitioners need to pursue asset recovery cases. Second, workshops delivered at the regional level have proved successful in developing informal networks of cooperation between countries, which can prove useful in following up on specific cases. Third, the selection of the participants involved in the operational aspects of asset recovery on a regular basis is critical to the success of the technical course and delivering capacity building impacts.

StAR partners with other organizations, such as the International Centre for Asset Recovery, in the delivery of its training activities.

For more information, see the StAR Awareness Raising and Capacity Building Activities: Training Concept Note.

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