Guideline 2: Restraining assets
Involved jurisdictions should promptly consider various options for preventing the untimely dissipation of assets, such as government freezes or delaying transactions for predetermined periods.
Asset recovery efforts are of little value if, ultimately, no assets remain available for confiscation and restitution. Given that assets can be hidden or moved out of a jurisdiction quickly and that investigation and confiscation processes may be lengthy, it is critical that measures be taken at the very outset of an investigation to secure any assets that may become subject to a confiscation judgment.
Available provisional measures (e.g. government freezes, consent regimes, other restraint orders or delaying transactions for predetermined periods) to prevent the dissipation of assets, should be identified and employed where possible. Involved jurisdictions should consider initiating actions against the proceeds of corruption located in their jurisdiction when requests for MLA have not yet been presented in order to preserve the assets. Involved jurisdictions should inform other relevant jurisdictions of any provisional measures taken, any limitations on such provisional measures (e.g. time limitations, notification provisions) and the additional steps necessary to maintain the provisional measures in place.
In certain cases, it may be decided not to implement provisional measures as part of the investigative strategy to monitor the asset to develop new avenues of inquiry (see Guideline 3), or where the exercise of provisional measures may tip off the subject and allow for the movement of assets in other jurisdictions. In such instances, involved jurisdictions, should seek to coordinate their actions and/or consider whether alternative means of restraining or delaying transactions are possible (see Guideline 4, Guideline 5, and Guideline 7).