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The 7th ARINSA AGM Relentless efforts continue to make sure criminals have nowhere to hide

Picture of Kudzai Chinoda
The 7th ARINSA AGM Relentless efforts continue to make sure criminals have nowhere to hide
by Kudzai Chinoda - Tuesday, 13 March 2018, 1:06 PM

The 7th ARINSA AGM : Relentless efforts continue to make sure criminals have nowhere to hide

ARINSA Welcomes Angola and Uganda

The Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network for Southern Africa (ARINSA) held its Annual General Meeting in Gaborone, Botswana on 7 – 8 March 2018.

It was reported at the meeting that ARINSA member countries had seized USD 76m worth of assets in 2017.

This was a significant increase from the previous year which was reported at USD 23m. This surge has been largely attributed to the mentorship programme and the extensive training programmes that UNODC has been conducting in 2017, including Terrorism Financing, Cyber-Crime, Beneficial Ownership and Taking the Proceeds from Wildlife Crime.

More details are available in the ARINSA Annual Report 2017 on the link below: ARINSA Annual Report or by visiting the ARINSA website

The ARINSA network continues to grow and the AGM welcomed as new members, Angola and Uganda. This increases the number of countries that are members of the informal network to 15.

The meeting was attended by over 80 delegates (31 female) from all around the world and by members of the ARINSA network including Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The meeting began with a key note address by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security for the Republic of Botswana, Mme Segakweng Tsiane, who highlighted that forfeiture or receipt of proceeds of crime is not an end in itself, but the beginning of a process of preserving and disposing of such assets in an efficient and effective manner. She called for high levels of integrity and value-based execution of jurisdictional mandate in doing so.

The Director of Public Prosecutions for the Republic of Botswana added on “… For this reason you have joined together as a network to fight a common enemy. I particularly note that not only do you share as a network the exchange of information, but thirdly that to a large measure you a share common jurisprudence assisting each other in the pursuit of a common objective to not only “leave the criminals with nowhere to hide” but fourthly to develop best practices and make the region safe and secure for all our peoples.”

Several international organisations including the International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR) from Basle, Switzerland and Camden Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network (CARIN) shared experiences and best practises on asset recovery. The United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) were also present.

Some recommendations arising from the meeting included:

•        more training programs for the judiciary, investigators and prosecutors.

•        UNODC to continue assisting with legislative amendments and policy developments

•        Countries should make us of existing agreements regional SADC protocols to follow the proceeds of crime in other jurisdictions.  

•        More awareness raising campaigns on asset forfeiture to be conducted by member countries to raise the profile of ARINSA   

•        Member countries should continue to access E-learning modules as a cost-effective measure to reduce training costs.                                             

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