Publications

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Identifies the key concepts - legal, operational and practical - a procedure that provides for the seizure and forfeiture of of stolen assets without the need for a criminal conviction.

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.

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.

Asset Recovery Handbook: A Guide for Practitioners
January 3 2011
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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
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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.

The Puppet Masters: How the Corrupt Use Legal Structures to Hide Stolen Assets and What to Do About It
October 24 2011
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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. 

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.

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.

Politically Exposed Persons: Preventive Measures for the Banking Sector
May 11 2012
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Combines policy recommendations and good practices aimed at making it harder for corrupt Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) to launder their money, and make it easier to get stolen assets back.

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'On the Take: Criminalizing Illicit Enrichment to Fight Corruption' is the first comprehensive survey of illicit enrichment laws and provides a broad analysis of the challenges in both drafting and implementing the criminal offense of illicit enrichment.  'On the Take' provides policy makers, prosecutors, and other practitioners with a better understanding of the features of the illicit enrichment offense.  The StAR Initiative unveils this guide to inform decision-makers considering adopting the offense and to assist those implementing illicit enrichments laws to do so in a way that contributes to effective prosecution, confiscation, and recovery of assets. 

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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...

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Corruption has a devastating impact on developing and transition countries, with estimates of $20 billion to $40 billion per year stolen by public officials, a figure equivalent to 20 to 40 percent of official development assistance flows.

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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.

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This guide features an unprecedented collection of data accompanied by an analysis of key implementation challenges to help countries develop more effective and robust financial disclosure systems.

StAR Annual Report: In 2017, StAR celebrated its ten-year anniversary with remarkable progress in the asset recovery realm.

 

This publication was written by a project team composed of Klaudijo Stroligo (Team Leader), Ching-Lung Hsu and Theo Kouts. It is based on the joint study by the World Bank, Egmont Group, and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime—Global Programme against Money Laundering (UNODC GPML) on Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) Working with Law Enforcement Authorities and Prosecutors.