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Proceeds of Corruption Unit UK Anti-Corruption Asset Recovery Task Force (Arab Spring) DCI Jonathan Benton.

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Presentation on theme: "Proceeds of Corruption Unit UK Anti-Corruption Asset Recovery Task Force (Arab Spring) DCI Jonathan Benton."— Presentation transcript:

1 Proceeds of Corruption Unit UK Anti-Corruption Asset Recovery Task Force (Arab Spring) DCI Jonathan Benton

2 Proceeds of Corruption Unit – who we are: Created January 2007 Funded by DfID Investigate PEPs UK Anti-Corruption Task Force – September 2012 23 personnel – MPS and NCA investigators

3 MPS Organised Crime Command (SCO7) Proceeds of Corruption Unit (POCU) NCA International Corruption Intelligence Cell (ICIC) Department for International Development (DfID) FUNDING Structure

4 Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) A PEP is defined as an individual who is or has, at any time in the preceding year, been entrusted with a prominent public function by a state other than the United Kingdom, a community institution or an international body. PEP status also applies to the individuals family and “close associates” as defined by the 3rd EU Money Laundering Directive.

5 Challenges faced Deep legal pockets Complex law: we’ve made case law 7 times in the past 6yrs Malicious allegations in the media Home Affairs Select Committee was, we say, misused

6 Indicators: Large cash transactions Atypical or uneconomical fund transfer to/from foreign jurisdictions Unusual business activity or transaction Large and/or rapid movement of funds Unrealistic wealth compared to client profile Defensive stance to questioning

7 Facilitators: Solicitors Accountants Bankers Financial Advisors Company Formation Agents

8 Regulated Sector: Credit Institutions Financial Institutions Solicitors Estate Agents Casinos High Value Dealers


10 Nigeria GDP $ 510bn (2013 est.) 24 th in the world (40 th in 2005, 52 nd in 2000) 1996 it was importing 70% of its oil. Population below the poverty line 33.1% (2013 est.) Leaked memo from Lamido Sanusi, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria to President Goodluck Jonathan - $ 50bn oil revenue unaccounted for… …Sanusi suspended

11 Bringing corrupt PEPs to trial – the current challenges: Legal challenges – highly litigious area of law enforcement Nexus between alleged corrupt acts and wealth Piercing the corporate veil International co-operation and working relationships High powered individuals with extensive resources

12 Bringing corrupt PEPs to trial – the current challenges: Reporting is increasing from some parts of the regulated sector, but could improve. Example: significant financial transaction, 3 London based law firms involved – only 1 reported the transaction. The lengths corrupt PEPs will go to in order to hide beneficial ownership: accounts, private jets through to high-value properties Transliteration and language differences – 36 ways to spell Mohamed. Corporate Service Providers; off-shore jurisdictions and challenges of gathering evidence across them. Length of time in office: Hosni Mubarak, late Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. We are conducting financial enquiries going back well beyond the retention of banking material New financial centres including Dubai.

13 PHASE 1PHASE 2PHASE 3 Joint Investigation Police-to-Police enquiries MLA Preparation MLA submitted MLA material received Restraint Criminal conviction Confiscation Civil recovery Article 49 UNCAC

14 SAR referrals: A total of 97 Suspicious Activity reports (SARs) were referred to the POCU between July 2013 and July 2014.

15 SAR referrals: Key issue with consent SARs – unrealistic prospect of obtaining sufficient evidence (particularly from overseas) to apply for Restraint within moratorium. Often leads to consent being advised purely due to restrictions of POCA 2002. Potentially allowing millions corruptly obtained funds to leave the UK.

16 "Prevention is better than cure" ‘ Only very recently have some of the prominent anti-corruption actors admitted – and even then often behind closed doors – that generalised programmes of (socio-economic, institutional and political) reforms have not provided solutions to what are inherently complex, place-specific and inherently political problems. One of the more promising avenues of research that looks to make good on the deficits analysed here involves the notion of ‘ quality governance ’. For some, governance remains a buzz word with little substance to it, but recent developments in understanding not just what the concept means but also ‘ how good ’ (or bad) a state ’ s governance regime happens to be may well be useful in developing more fruitful approaches to tackling corruption. ’ Professor Dan Hough, Corruption, Anti-Corruption and Governance, 2013 Governance will ultimately reduce poverty, our work is significant, but the ripple effect will not solve the corruption problem.

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