MOSCOW, October 28. Russia is building relations with 89 countries to return the assets of “legalized” funds received including as a result of corruption. This was announced by the Minister of justice of Russia Alexander Konovalov in interview which will be released on Thursday, October 29, in “Rossiyskaya Gazeta”.
In an interview on the upcoming sixth session of the Conference of the States parties to the UN Convention against corruption, which will be held in St. Petersburg in early November, Minister of justice reminded that the Convention is the first international document that provides for the recovery of stolen as a result of corruption offenses of assets in the country of origin.
“The main instrument of international cooperation are mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. Under it, we can get the most detailed information on the corrupt officials belonging to the property accounts, their nationality, etc., – reminded Alexander Konovalov. – Numerous studies demonstrate the existence of a close connection between corruption and money laundering. In particular, it is noted that the reduction measures to counter money-laundering is directly related to the increase in corruption and Vice versa. Moreover, in some countries, corruption is the main source of cash flow generation, with the criminal nature of the origin”.
The UN Convention against corruption expressly provides the need for the state party to recognize money laundering as a criminal offence. The drafters of the Convention have a unique mechanism for the recovery of criminal assets. “In other words, using this mechanism, the state is able to deprive the convicted of corruption face criminal proceeds, including hidden abroad, and return them to the rightful owner. This occurs as part of a comprehensive process for identifying, blocking (freezing), seizure and confiscation of criminal assets with a view to its further repatriation”, – said Konovalov.
“The process of returning criminal assets from abroad, primarily associated with the identification of such assets. At the moment signed 89 bilateral agreements and memoranda in this area. Such extensive geographical coverage allows effective and, importantly, to quickly interact with foreign partners to prevent money laundering received from corruption crimes. This mechanism can also be used to identify criminal assets of persons involved in criminal cases,” the Minister said.