An EU-funded project implemented by the Council of Europe.

Project summary

Full project title: Capacity building of the Directorate for Management of Seized and Confiscated Assets and Support to the Development of the System for Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and its Key Institutions in Serbia.

Project partner: Directorate for Management of Seized and Confiscated Assets (DMSCA) 

Funding: European Commission (IPA 2009 Programme)

Implementation: Action against Crime Department (Directorate General I - Human Rights and the Rule of Law, Council of Europe)

Budget: 2 140 000 EUR

Duration :36 months (1 April 2010 – 31 March 2013)


Executive summary

Economic and organised crime, corruption and money laundering are serious threats to economies, democracy and the rule of law across the world. South-Eastern Europe is particularly vulnerable to these threats due geographical, political and historic reasons.

Criminal activity generates proceeds the amount of which is difficult to address. Development of systems to search, seize and confiscate criminally gained assets is a matter of urgency and one of the most effective ways not only to recover the assets that can be used to fund public expenditures and compensate the crime victims; but also to satisfy the sense of justice and practically apply the principle that “crime should not pay”.

This project builds on the results of the previous joint projects funded by the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe such as the CARDS Regional Police Project (CARPO – 2004-2007), Project against Economic Crime and Money Laundering in Serbia (PACO-Serbia – 2005-2007), and Support to Prosecutor’s Network in South-Eastern Europe (PROSECO – 2008-2010).

The Purpose of this Project is to enhance the institutional capacity and efficient functioning of the Directorate for Management of Seized and Confiscated Assets at the Ministry of Justice, the Financial Investigation Unit of the Ministry of Interior as well as other key institutions involved in the search, seizure, management and confiscation of the proceeds from crime in the Republic of Serbia. 

Through its five outputs the project shall:

  • address the relevant legislation to ensure its internal coherence and completeness, its conformity with international standards and to facilitate its practical implementation;
  • provide comprehensive training, including train-the-trainers activities and curricula, to all key agencies involved in financial investigations, search, seizure and confiscation of criminal assets and their management;
  • support further development of interagency and international co-operation in matters relating to, search, seizure and confiscation of criminal assets;
  • raise professional and public awareness of the importance of assets recovery for securing public interest and the interest of crime victims, development of democracy and the rule of law and enhancing the level of justice;
  • support financial investigators by providing them with hi-tech analytical tools.

The project budget is 2,140,000 € and it will last 36 months. It is funded by the European Union under IPA 2009 and implemented by the Council of Europe through a Project Team in Belgrade supervised and supported by the Economic Crime and Information Society Department in Strasbourg.

It is expected that by the end of this project the assets recovery system in Serbia will be fully operational, which will be reflected by the significant increase in the amount of seized and confiscated criminal assets.

Objectives and expected results

Overall objective: To contribute to democracy and the rule of law through the prevention and control of economic crime through development of criminal assets recovery system in accordance with European and other international standards and MONEYVAL and GRECO recommendations for the Republic of Serbia.

Project Purpose: To build capacity of DMSCA to fulfil its tasks and to support the development of the system for search, seizure and confiscation of the proceeds from crime in Serbia and its key institutions.

Result 1:  Legal framework developed in cooperation with relevant partner institutions, in line with international standards.

Result 2: The DMSCA and Financial Investigation Institutions use proven methodologies for financial investigation, search, seizure, confiscation and management of criminal assets.

Result 3: Effective mechanisms in place to ensure co-operation between the DMSCA other institutions of the AR system in Serbia.

Result 4: Public opinion of Serbia is aware of the role of AR system in ensuring that crime must not pay.

Result 5: Technical infrastructure of the key institutions to run financial investigations and analyse data on criminal assets enhanced.


The project is providing funding for:

  • a long-term technical adviser
  • a number of short-term advisers
  • project support staff
  • in-country training events in Belgrade and different regions
  • the preparation of training materials and guidelines
  • legal opinions
  • international study visits
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