Guideline 6: Contacts
Requesting and requested jurisdictions should establish and use direct contacts between practitioners.
Direct and regular communication and coordination between the involved stakeholders in concerned jurisdictions throughout the various asset recovery steps is one of the cornerstones of any successful asset recovery process. In addition to communication in the context of sharing of criminal and financial intelligence or of investigative information (see Guideline 1), the subject(s) of such communication may also include case strategies, requirements for MLA and other legal requirements in the respective jurisdictions, and challenges encountered in the implementation of a co-ordinated case strategy.
As such, direct communication between involved stakeholders within and especially among concerned jurisdictions facilitates the understanding of potential challenges at the operational and legal levels and may facilitate a quicker and more efficient collation of information. In addition, it builds trust and thereby further facilitates cooperation.
Requesting and requested authorities should consider seeking assistance from international experts.
Law enforcement agencies have increasingly sought the assistance of international asset recovery experts in high profile multi-jurisdictional asset recovery cases. Such international experts can include either (i) experts from intelligence and law enforcement agencies of other concerned jurisdictions, or (ii) experts from other organisations or law firms, who can assist in reinforcing the capacity of concerned agencies in requesting jurisdictions or facilitating cooperation with, and understanding requirements of, involved foreign jurisdictions.
The assistance of such experts has proven to be useful when a requesting or requested jurisdictions lack experience or capacity in dealing with complex international corruption or money laundering cases, are overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task at hand or for other reasons. An external expert can assist in developing investigation strategies and prioritising cases. When an external expert is used, he or she can further help coordinate between multiple concerned jurisdictions.
They should use all available channels for information sharing, such as international and regional networks.
Early and where possible proactively sharing of information between requested and requesting jurisdictions is key to enabling all concerned jurisdictions to efficiently progress in their investigations. Doing so may enhance trust amongst relevant practitioners, and positively contribute to the outcome of investigations, prosecutions and international cooperation.