Stolen Asset Recovery for Ukraine

 

Following the ouster of former Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich in February 2014, efforts have begun to recover stolen assets at the initiative of the Government of Ukraine.

The Government of Ukraine is seeking international assistance in recovering these proceeds of corruption which are likely to be located outside the country.

Challenges to international cooperation in the recovery of stolen assets are expected to be similar in Ukraine as in many jurisdictions, and overcoming them requires international cooperation along with the sharing of information, resources and expertise.

The recovery of stolen assets is a fundamental principle of the UN Convention against Corruption which calls on all state parties to, ‘afford one another the widest measure of cooperation and assistance’, for the return of such assets to their legitimate owners.

Several countries and regional organizations (such as the European Union) have already taken action to ensure the administrative freezing of assets held by specific individuals. While these moves are critical to prevent the further dissipation of such resources, they are only temporary steps, and must be complemented by criminal justice actions to secure the confiscation and return of illicit assets to their rightful owners.

Criminal legal proceedings by the Government of Ukraine in cooperation with financial centers are very important in tracking down and recovering stolen assets, as well as in bringing to justice those responsible for the thefts. Domestic coordination and technical expertise along with international cooperation are vital aspects of such actions.

The Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative - StAR - believes that recovering stolen assets is important in countering the effects of corruption, tackling impunity and restoring justice.

This website highlights some of the actions already taken by Ukraine and other countries to recover stolen assets. It provides guidance on ways in which asset recovery can be successfully advanced by the international community.

It also highlights resources important in undertaking this process including StAR publications such as, ‘The Asset Recovery Handbook’ and ‘Barriers to Asset Recovery’

The Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR) is a partnership between the World Bank Group and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) that supports international efforts to end safe havens for corrupt funds.