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OSCE-supported Network organizes innovative workshops in management of seized criminal assets

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The Balkan Asset Management Interagency Network (BAMIN), which is being supported by the OSCE through an extra-budgetary project, organized online workshops on the management of movable assets seized from criminals, particularly confiscated vehicles, from 6 to 16 October 2020. More than 50 members of the judiciary and law enforcement representatives from some 14 full member, associate and observer jurisdictions of BAMIN as well as participants from Georgia, Greece, Italy and the Netherlands participated in the workshops. The workshops were conducted over an online platform and involved participant engagement in different cases studies.

“Asset management plays a crucial role in the asset recovery process,” said Andrea D’Angelo of Associazione SAFE, the OSCE implementing partner supporting the BAMIN Secretariat’s daily operations. “The BAMIN Secretariat has adopted the strategy of involving investigators and prosecutors from different jurisdictions to role-play as asset management officers in order to understand the limitations that Asset Management Offices (AMOs) face throughout the seizure and confiscations of assets.”

His colleague Alessandro D’Autillio added: “The workshop highlighted legal limitations in certain jurisdictions that impede AMOs to perform their tasks properly and efficiently. It also showed the importance of involving AMOs from the start, during the pre-seizure phase, the long-term management of assets and finally their sale. Participants recognized the importance of the involvement of AMOs and continuous communications with law enforcement representatives and prosecutors.”

The OSCE is supporting BAMIN through an extra-budgetary project to strengthen the fight against transnational crime and corruption in South-Eastern Europe through improved regional co-operation in asset seizure, confiscation, management and re-use. The project is a joint activity by OSCE Transnational Threats Department (TNTD) and the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities (OCEEA).

Praising the holding of the workshop, Denise Mazzolani, Deputy Head of the Strategic Police Matters Unit at TNTD, said:  “Engaging and innovative training is critical to improving the expertise of, and strengthening collaboration among different stakeholders.”

“Successful recovery and management of seized assets can occur only through close co-operation and better understanding of the role each agency involved in the process plays and what challenges they face,” added Iris Pilika, Programme Officer at OCEEA.

The project is financially supported by the United States Department of State, Italy and Germany.

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