StAR Initiative (Stolen Asset Recovery)

19 items available

Permanent URI for this collection

The series supports international efforts to end safe havens for corrupt funds by providing practitioners with knowledge and policy tools consolidating international good practice on cutting edge issues related to preventing the laundering of the proceeds of corruption. The series supports systematic and timely return of stolen assets -- the objective of the World Bank and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) Initiative. Titles in this series undergo internal and external review under the management of StAR Initiative's Advisory Board.

Items in this collection

Now showing 1 - 10 of 19
  • Thumbnail Image
    Publication
    Legal Persons and Arrangements ML Risk Assessment Tool: With Guidance on Assessing Risks Related to Beneficial Ownership Transparency
    (Washington, DC : World Bank, 2022-06) World Bank
    Legal structures are used to conduct a wide range of legitimate commercial activities and play an essential role in the global economy. In most countries, companies and other forms of legal structures can be formed easily and quickly and can gain access to the global financial system through setting up a corporate bank account, taking out corporate loans, and using other financial products. Through anti-money laundering (AML) and anti-financial crime regulatory reforms, anonymous personal bank accounts are no longer widely available, and so-called ‘shell banks’ that do not have any physical presence in any jurisdiction have been effectively outlawed. Instead, shell companies and other forms of legal structures (such as limited liability partnerships) have emerged as a primary mechanism for moving large amounts of illicit funds around the world. Corporations were originally established to shield individuals from personal liability when conducting business; they were never designed or intended to conceal ownership. But beginning in the 1970s, some offshore jurisdictions began offering to establish corporations and other legal structures that would enable individuals to open bank accounts, transfer funds, and take other actions while hiding their identities. There are four aspects of shell companies and other types of legal structures that are particularly important in the anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) context: (1) separate legal personality, (2) hiding ultimate beneficial ownership, (3) providing access to the financial system, and (4) enabling asset ownership.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Publication
    Signatures for Sale: How Nominee Services for Shell Companies are Abused to Conceal Beneficial Owners
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022-04-21) Nielson, Daniel Lafayette ; Sharman, Jason Campbell
    This report analyzes a family of related corporate arrangements in which nominees act as agents of principals in control of shell companies. It focuses on how nominee arrangements can be abused to facilitate financial crime by obscuring the identity of those in control of shell companies and on policies designed to counter such abuses. The report draws evidence from a global mystery shopping exercise based on thousands of solicitations for shell companies, as well as marketing information from shell company providers, and journalistic and policy research on the topic. Nominee arrangements are currently both a threat and a missed opportunity for policy makers. Such arrangements are critical to corporate beneficial ownership transparency as a major but underappreciated point of vulnerability. Strengthening the regulation of nominee arrangements can enhance the transparency of shell companies and help reduce financial crime. Taking best advantage of this opportunity requires greater attention to the transparency of nominee arrangements, better practical enforcement of rules, and replacement of a single country-by-country approach in national evaluations with a more multijurisdictional perspective.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Publication
    Taxing Crime: A Whole-of-Government Approach to Fighting Corruption, Money Laundering, and Tax Crimes
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022) Brun, Jean-Pierre ; Cebreiro Gomez, Ana ; Julien, Rita ; Waruguru, Joy ; Ndubai, Joy Waruguru ; Owens, Jeffrey ; Siddhesh, Rao ; Soto, Yara Esquivel
    Taxing Crime: A Whole-of-Government Approach to Fighting Corruption, Money Laundering, and Tax Crimes examines how tax audits and investigations can lead to uncovering white-collar crime and how investigations of corruption can, in turn, lead to prosecutions of tax evasion or recovery of unpaid taxes. Prepared jointly by the World Bank and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR) and the Global Tax Policy Center at the Institute for Austrian and International Tax Law, Vienna University of Economics and Business, this report offers analysis, case studies, examples of legal and operational frameworks, and recommendations that policy makers can use to enhance cooperation between tax authorities and law enforcement agencies at the national and international levels. This study is designed to serve as a reference and source of advocacy for policy makers, but it may be useful to other practitioners as well, including law enforcement officials, investigating magistrates, and prosecutors. Specifically, chapters present strategic considerations for establishing communication channels between tax and criminal investigative agencies; suggestions for combining tax and financial crime prosecution as part of an interagency asset recovery strategy; and approaches to developing interagency information exchange at the regional and international levels. It concludes with recommendations on ways to enhance the roles of both the tax authorities in combating money laundering and corruption and of the law enforcement authorities in recovering the proceeds of tax crimes.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Publication
    Automated Risk Analysis of Asset and Interest Declarations of Public Officials: A Technical Guide
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-08-25) Kotlyar, Dmytro ; Pop, Laura
    The technical guide distinguishes the automated risk analysis from the general verification of the AID, which is a comprehensive legal procedure carried out by the staff of the verification agency. The automated risk analysis could be a part of the general verification framework. This technical guide builds on the advisory work conducted by the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR) team in different countries that use or contemplate using the automated risk analysis of AIDs and consultations with practitioners from other asset declaration systems that use some automation in their verification processes. The proposals and recommendations are not a reflection of one system’s approach to electronic risk analysis but rather include elements from different systems and build on them. The guide goes beyond describing existing approaches and proposes possiblesolutions that can solve some of the implementation challenges faced by countries. The authors adopted this approach given the limited number of countries that use automatic risk analysis in their verification process now and to allow for sharing the lessons learned from the ongoing work advising countries.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Publication
    Asset Recovery Handbook: A Guide for Practitioners, Second Edition
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2020-12-10) Brun, Jean-Pierre ; Sotiropoulou, Anastasia ; Gray, Larissa ; Scott, Clive ; Stephenson, Kevin M.
    The Asset Recovery Handbook: A Guide for Practitioners has been updated in 2020 by the Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) initiative, a joint initiative of the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime and the World Bank focused on encouraging and facilitating a more systematic and timely return of stolen assets. Designed as a how-to manual, the handbook guides practitioners as they grapple with the strategic, organizational, investigative, and legal challenges of recovering assets that have been stolen by corrupt leaders and hidden abroad. It provides common approaches to recovering stolen assets located in foreign jurisdictions, identifies the challenges that practitioners are likely to encounter, and introduces good practices. By consolidating into a single framework, information that is dispersed across various professional backgrounds, the handbook has enhanced the effectiveness of practitioners working in a team environment. After 10 years of serving as a recognized reference for practitioners and trainers since it was first published in 2011, the StAR initiative decided to develop this updated version by incorporating developments based on the experience collected during this decade, including new legislation and case examples. This 2020 second edition emphasizes the need to utilize innovative strategies and technical tools, including in the context of international cooperation.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Publication
    Going for Broke: Insolvency Tools to Support Cross-Border Asset Recovery in Corruption Cases
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2020) Brun, Jean-Pierre ; Silver, Molly
    The cost of official corruption is high: it degrades public trust, impedes economic development, and undermines the rule of law. Countries around the world are increasingly using asset recovery measures to pursue justice in official corruption cases and restore funds to public use. Successful application of bankruptcy or insolvency law can make or break a corruption case. Going for Broke: Insolvency Tools to Support Cross-Border Asset Recovery in Corruption Cases is intended as a guidebook for asset recovery practitioners for the use of bankruptcy proceedings in their work. It is offered as a complement to our prior texts: Public Wrongs, Private Actions and Asset Recovery Handbook. Going for Broke offers practical advice to inform insolvency representatives, law enforcement officials, policy makers, and those entrusted with recovering their nations’ stolen assets about the ways in which insolvency can be effectively be employed—either to complement an existing civil or criminal asset recovery action or as a stand-alone procedure for recovery. It may also serve as a quick reference for other practitioners, including auditors, accountants, and others who deal with corruption and asset recovery.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Publication
    Financial Intelligence Units Working with Law Enforcement Authorities and Prosecutors
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018) Stroligo, Klaudijo ; Hsu, Chin-Lung ; Kouts, Theodore
    This publication "Financial Intelligence Units Working With Law Enforcement" supports the implementation of the international anti-money laundering/countering financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) standards promulgated by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and other international organizations, and to propose good practices in cooperation among financial intelligence units (FIUs), law enforcement agencies and prosecutors (LEAs). Another objective is developing practical solutions to assist jurisdictions in better demonstrating how financial intelligence is effectively managed among the competent authorities responsible for combating money laundering, associated predicate offences, and terrorist financing. The publication is based on a joint study by StAR, the Egmont Group, and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime - Global Programme against Money Laundering (UNODC GPML). In many jurisdictions, the level of cooperation between FIUs and LEAs could be significantly improved. StAR's new publication examines how the FIUs and LEAs cooperate with one another and identifies the impediments to their closer cooperation. Based on findings among a survey of FIUs and LEAs, and extensive consultations, the publication sets forth practical solutions to improve cooperation and the effective management of financial intelligence. In addition, the publication presents recommendations for policy makers to improve their policies related to the cooperation among FIUs and LEAs.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Publication
    Getting the Full Picture on Public Officials: A How-to Guide for Effective Financial Disclosure
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2017-01-13) Rossi, Ivana M. ; Pop, Laura ; Berger, Tammar
    Financial disclosure systems are a vital component of transparency. By now 161 countries around the world have introduced financial disclosure systems, becoming commonplace around the world. But, although the rules are on the books, many practitioners are still struggling with the intricacies of the rules and how to implement them in the socioeconomic, historical, and legal context of their own country. Little guidance is available to assist them. This book aims to fill that void and provide practitioners with practical scenarios to consider before deciding on a particular course of action. This book contains short chapters that elaborate each topic and provide clear guidance on the issues that policy makers and those involved in the implementation of financial disclosure obligations will need to take into account before making a decision. How do you decide who should file? And how often? On-line or in hard copy? And what exactly? Everything they own directly—or also those apartments they own indirectly? How should information in declarations be checked? Should it be shared with public? How accessible should it be? This is the sort of practical guidance that this book aims to provide.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Publication
    Public Wrongs, Private Actions : Civil Lawsuits to Recover Stolen Assets
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2015) Brun, Jean Pierre ; Dubois, Pascale Helene ; van der Does de Willebois, Emile ; Hauch, Jeanne ; Jaïs, Sarah ; Mekki, Yannis ; Sotiropoulou, Anastasia ; Sylvester, Katherine Rose ; Uttamchandani, Mahesh
    Corruption and thefts of public assets harm a diffuse set of victims, weakens confidence in public institutions, damages the private investment climate, and threatens the foundations of the society as a whole. In developing countries with scarce public resources, the cost of corruption is an impediment to development: developing countries lose between US$20 to US$40 billion each year through bribery, misappropriation of funds, and other corrupt practices. Corruption is by no means a "victimless crime." This study aims to explore the standing of States and Government entities as victims and the possible recourse to private actions to redress public wrongs. States and Government entities may act as private litigants and bring civil suits to recover assets lost to corruption. The goal of this work is to promote knowledge and understanding as well as to increase the use of civil remedies and private lawsuits to recover stolen assets in the context of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) offences. The UNCAC, the global standard for the fight against corruption, does not contain a legal definition of corruption itself but lists an array of offences, including public and private sector bribery and the embezzlement of public and private sector funds. The study will mainly focus on these two types of corruption, namely bribery and embezzlement of funds. This study is not intended in any way to minimize the importance of criminal proceedings and confiscation in addressing acts of corruption. Rather, it will show that civil law remedies can effectively complement criminal penalties by attacking the economic base of corrupt activities both in the public and the private sectors. In fact, given the magnitude of the challenges, all avenues of asset recovery, be they criminal or civil, should be explored simultaneously in order to tackle corruption from each and every angle and achieve the goals of deterrence and enforcement. Hence, while criminal law expresses society's disapproval of the corrupt acts and aims at dissuasion, punishment, and confiscation of illicit proceeds, civil law focuses on victims' interests and aims at compensation and restitution. These procedures may occur sometimes in parallel, sometimes sequentially. An effective response to corruption very often requires concomitant use of both criminal and civil law remedies to achieve the desired result.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Publication
    Few and Far : The Hard Facts on Stolen Asset Recovery
    (Washington, DC: World Bank and OECD, 2014-08-29) Gray, Larissa ; Hansen, Kjetil ; Recica-Kirkbride, Pranvera ; Mills, Linnea
    Corruption has a devastating impact on developing and transition countries, with estimates of $20 billion to $40 billion per year stolen by public officials, a figure equivalent to 20 to 40 percent of flows of official development assistance. The return of the proceeds of corruption--asset recovery--can have a significant development impact. Returns can be used directly for development purposes, such as improvements in the health and education sectors and reintegration of displaced persons, with additional benefits of improved international cooperation and enhanced capacity of law enforcement and financial management officials. Development agencies and those committed to development effectiveness have a role in the asset recovery process. They have made international commitments to fight corruption and recover the proceeds of corruption in the Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness: Accra Agenda for Actions, held in Accra in 2008, and the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness: Partnership for Effective Development, held in Busan in 2011. Despite these efforts, there has been difficulty in translating these commitments into concrete action. This StAR-OECD publication reports on how OECD countries are performing on asset recovery. Drawing on data collected between 2006 and 2012, the report provides recommendations and good practices and suggests specific actions for development agencies.