Main Image Credit Sanctioned luxury yachts - Maarten Visser from Capelle aan den IJssel, Nederland, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Recovering the financial proceeds of crime – a process known as ‘asset recovery’ – provides a means of visibly demonstrating that crime doesn’t pay, as well as reducing the drivers for further criminality and restricting the criminal capital available to reinvest in further illicit activity. Despite widespread public support for such approaches to crime reduction, and notwithstanding an increasing focus on asset recovery by the global standard-setter, the Financial Action Taskforce (FATF), global asset recovery rates remain at around 1% of total criminal proceeds. Within the UK specifically, asset recovery rates remain stagnant, despite a political focus in this area.
Our research in this field seeks to improve understanding of the barriers to global asset recovery, and to develop new and innovative solutions to improve the response. We deliver this through direct engagement with the UK government, parliamentarians and the FATF, and we are members of the civil society platform the UNCAC Coalition, feeding into the UN Convention against Corruption.
Aims and objectives
Our research aims to improve understanding of the barriers to greater use of asset recovery tools in the response to organised crime, corruption and kleptocracy, and to identify global best practices and innovative solutions. This includes examining barriers to domestic implementation as well as international coordination.
We also seek to identify potential reforms to the UK’s implementation of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, and to support the FATF in strengthening global frameworks in this field.