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  • Lo Furneaux

How to Make Crime Pay for Society: EUACI forum in Ukraine

On May 12th the EU Anti-Corruption Initiative (EUACI) and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Committee on Anti-Corruption Policy (CAP) co-hosted the ‘How to Make Crime Pay for Society’ forum.

A collection of senior officials and experienced subject matter experts from across the world came together to share their asset management experiences with members of the Ukrainian government and law enforcement on how to make the management of seized assets more efficient. The aim of the forum was to debate and discuss how the international community have dealt with the challenges in handling seized and confiscated assets, including the rise of cryptocurrencies. The meeting was focused on improving the understanding and application of asset management knowledge and practice in Ukraine.

The debate was moderated by Asset Reality founder Aidan Larkin and international Asset Recovery Advisor Jill Thomas, both in their capacity as Asset Recovery and Management Advisors under the EUACI assistance to Ukraine.

Speaking of the forum, Aidan Larkin (Co-Founder and CEO) commented:

“Globally, Asset Recovery remains a challenge for all countries, with varying degrees of success. Ukraine has already established a solid foundation by creating a dedicated agency responsible for Asset Management (ARMA) and should be congratulated for implementing that globally recognised best practice. I’m proud to be working with EUACI and a diverse mix of dedicated stakeholders to ensure we can contribute to this important forum and not shy away from the challenges that lie ahead."

"Our mission is clear, to increase the effectiveness of the asset management activity which in turn has the ability to generate more revenue for the people of Ukraine to fund the fight against corruption and serious organised crime. I’m confident that with the spirit of cooperation, this forum will serve as the perfect opportunity to share international best practices and allow Ukraine to develop the systems and processes it needs to meet the challenges head-on.”

Highlights from the Panel:

  • “Solid asset management offices contribute to the citizen’s trust in the legal system of their country” - Frederic Pierson, Head of the Europol Criminal Assets Bureau (ECAB).

  • “The majority of assets should be eligible for pre-judiciary selling, as it is quite expensive to have long-term assets storage. For instance, France has a legal system that permits pre-judgment selling of assets” - Anne Haller, Head of the Legal Office of the Agency for Management and Recovery of Seized and Confiscated Assets France (AGRASC).

  • “You always have to think about why you want to seize a company. Because it is always easier to have a running company than a bankrupt company to pay a fine.” - Jan Knobbe, Senior Asset Manager at the Dutch Asset Management Office.

  • “Assets are managed for the benefit of the state or - very important - for the benefit of a victim” - Jill Thomas, Asset Recovery Advisor and Co-Moderator of the Forum.

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