Special File: Financial Investigations and Confiscation of Proceeds from Crime


Financial investigations for the confiscation of crime proceeds

The majority of criminal offences is aimed at acquiring economic benefits. The importance of targeting proceeds from crime in efforts against corruption, organised crime, money laundering and other forms of economic crime is therefore widely recognised:

Targeting profits serves as a powerful deterrent
Leaving criminals with their profits will allow them to infiltrate and corrupt the legal economy
Taking away of the profits removes the instrument to commit future crimes
Targeting money helps target the top management of criminal organisations
Need to hold up the rule of law and the moral principle that nobody should benefit from crime.

The Council of Europe’s strategy against economic crime therefore includes the strengthening of financial investigations aimed at the search, seizure and confiscation of crime proceeds.

Standards

Relevant standards include in particular:

The Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime (ETS 141)
The Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism (ETS 198)

Monitoring

The implementation of standards related to financial investigations is monitored by evaluation mechanisms:

MONEYVAL (the Anti-money Laundering evaluation mechanism of the Council of Europe)
GRECO (the Group of States against Corruption) which covered proceeds from corruption during its 2nd round of evaluations.

Technical cooperation

Technical cooperation activities to strengthen capacities for financial investigations include:

The PACO Proceeds project for countries of south-eastern Europe (2001)
A best practice survey on the confiscation of proceeds and the reversal of the burden of proof (1998)
The CARDS Regional Police Project for south-eastern Europe, including
- A regional strategy on tools against economic and organized crime (2005)
- A training manual on financial investigations and confiscation (2006)
- A Memorandum of Understanding on regional cooperation related to financial investigations (2007)
- Overview of legislation for the confiscation of proceeds of crime in South-Eastern Europe
The MOLI projects in Russia and Ukraine, the MOLICO project in Moldova and the PROSECO project in south-eastern Europe
 




 

COUNCIL OF EUROPE STANDARDS
Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime (CETS No. 141)
English | French 
Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism (CETS No. 198)
English | French 
 
MONITORING
Moneyval
GRECO
 
TECHNICAL COOPERATION PROJECTS
CARDS South-eastern Europe (2005-2007)
MOLI Projects
MOLICO Moldova (2006-2009)
PROSECO Regional Project (2008-2010)
 
RELATED DOCUMENTS
Conclusions of the Regional Thematic Seminar on Financial Investigations and Confiscation of Proceeds from Crime, Cavtat, Croatia, Sept 2008
Overview of the legislation on confiscation of proceeds from crime in South-Eastern Europe, 2007
Albanian | English | B-C-M-S | MacedonianMemorandum of Understanding on Regional Cooperation and Exchange of Information on Financial Investigations, June 2007 (more…)
Regional Strategy on Tools against Organised and Economic Crime with Project Area Specific Actions, September 2005
Training Manual on Financial Investigations and Confiscation of Proceeds from Crime, September 2006
Best Practice Survey N°2: Reversal of the burden of proof in confiscation of the proceeds of crime, May 2000
Confiscation of Proceeds from Crime in South-Eastern Europe, 2001
 
CONTACT

Department of Information Society and Action against Crime
Directorate of Co-operation
Directorate general of Human rights and legal affairs
Tel: +33 (0)3 90 21 45 06
Fax:+33 (0)3 90 21 56 50