The international community is well placed to make significant progress in asset recovery. National authorities have made some progress in developing the institutional and legal structures foreseen under the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

Public Office, Private Interests: Accountability through Income and Asset Disclosure
March 28 2012

The first global study of financial disclosure laws and practices calls for a renewed commitment to income and asset disclosure to deter the use of public office for private gain, and to help manage actual and apparent conflicts of interest in the public sector. The study also shows that asset disclosure systems are more effective when there is a credible threat that violations will be detected and punished.

Management of Returned Assets: Policy Considerations
October 12 2009
The recovery of stolen assets raises a series of policy questions about how to use the returned funds to support development goals and how to keep the public informed. Success in managing returned assets builds confidence in public institutions and reinforces the rule of law. This note provides policymakers with an analytical framework for addressing the key management issues they will face. National authorities are encouraged to start planning early, while the asset recovery process is still ongoing.
November 11 2011

The new StAR and OECD study shows that financial gains from bribery can be accurately calculated and confiscated. The study draws on cases from six countries to show several methods of quantification that are already in use, and challenges the commonly-held perception that calculating the gains made by bribe-paying companies is too complicated.

Tracking Anti-Corruption and Asset Recovery Commitments: A Progress Report and Recommendations for Action
August 24 2011

StAR and the OECD have measured the progress of 30 donor countries in meeting their Accra commitments to the combat corruption by individuals or corporations, and to track, freeze, and recover stolen assets. The report describes challenges in meeting the commitments, as well as good practices and recommendations for countries of origin and destination of stolen assets.

The Puppet Masters: How the Corrupt Use Legal Structures to Hide Stolen Assets and What to Do About It
October 24 2011
  • Emile van der Does de Willebois
  • Emily M. Halter
  • Robert A. Harrison
  • Ji Won Park
  • J.C. Sharman

This new StAR report examines how bribes, embezzled state assets and other criminal proceeds are being hidden via legal structures – shell companies, foundations, trusts and others. The study also provides policy makers with practical recommendations on how to step up ongoing international efforts to uncover flows of criminal funds and prevent criminals from misusing shell companies and other legal entities. 

  • Jacinta Odour
  • Jeanne Hauch
  • Marianne Mathias
  • Ji Won Park
  • Oliver Stolpe
  • Agustin Flah
  • Dorothee Gottwald
  • Francisca M. U. Fernando

Countries have increasingly used settlements — any procedure short of a full trial— to conclude foreign bribery, imposing billions in monetary sanctions. But what happens to the money associated with settlements? And what can be done to help those harmed by foreign bribery...

  • Jean-Pierre Brun

Civil lawsuits are often overlooked as a way to recover stolen assets. But this latest StAR report shows how they can provide an effective complement to more commonly-used criminal approaches.

Asset Recovery Handbook: A Guide for Practitioners
January 3 2011
  • Jean-Pierre Brun
  • Clive Scott
  • Kevin M. Stephenson
  • Larissa Gray

Developing countries lose between $20 billion and $40 billion each year to bribery, embezzlement, and other corrupt practices. Over the past 15 years only $5 billion has been recovered and returned. A new handbook seeks to help close this gap. The Asset Recovery Handbook, produced by the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR) of the World Bank Group and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), provides practitioners with a how-to guide for recovering stolen assets.

Barriers to Asset Recovery: An Analysis of the Key Barriers and Recommendations for Action
June 21 2011
  • Kevin M. Stephenson
  • Larissa Gray
  • Ric Power
  • Jean-Pierre Brun
  • Gabriele Dunker
  • Melissa Panjer

Barriers to Asset Recovery, released on June 21, 2011 by the World Bank Group and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC) Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR), advises policy makers on reforms that will enable the recovery of stolen assets. Drawing on consultations with over 50 practitioners around the globe, the study identifies challenges to asset recovery, and recommends eight strategic actions and best practices for policy makers, legislators and practitioners. It is a powerful tool that will help policy makers design a comprehensive strategy for recovering the proceeds of corruption in their countries.