25 - 27 March 2019, Cape Town, South Africa - In 2018, ARINSA countries reported preservation orders in the amount of US $529,437,092.15. The ability to restrain, seize and/or attach illicitly obtained assets is a vital part of making asset recovery work effective. Without the power to keep assets safe from depreciation, theft or consumption, it is very likely that the assets will be worthless or non-existent before the final judgement is passed.
This was the theme of the asset management workshop, which brought 30 (including 10 female) participants together from 15 ARINSA Member States in Cape Town, South Africa from 25 - 27 March 2019. A wide range of practitioners were in attendance representing law enforcement agencies such as tax revenue authorities, police, financial intelligence units, and the attorney general offices of their respective countries.
The 3-day workshop, which was organised by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, was sponsored by the Department for International Development in the United Kingdom through the Countering Illicit Financial Flows in Africa programme, in order to guide the managers in the establishment of a first-ever asset management manual for the Southern and Eastern African regions.
The importance of interagency cooperation was stressed by participants as management of assets involves three main stages: acquisition, management and disposal. These are carried out by several stakeholders which need to be coordinated by the assigned asset management agency.
Working in assigned groups, the facilitators guided the participants to draft generic asset management manuals based on best practice and relevance to the ARINSA region.
The workshop agreed that the next steps to be taken in the Asset Management development process would be:
- Consolidating the five generic manuals that came out of the workshop into a three-chapter asset management manual for the ARINSA region;
- Using the manual as a guide, countries will then work on updating existing legislation;
- Countries will then identify suitable candidates to act as dedicated asset managers;
- A follow-up workshop for the dedicated asset managers will be held to solidify asset management principles in the region;
- Upon request, countries needing technical support will be assisted.
The materials from the workshop can be found on the following link.