Author: Azizur Rahman 13 April 2021
Europol wants to see changes to the asset recovery regime in the European Union in a bid to tackle organised crime and money laundering.
The agency makes the call for new working methods in its serious and organised crime assessment for 2021. It argues that boosting asset confiscation is “the single most important aspect of fighting organised crime.’’
Rahman Ravelli’s Aziz Rahman told Thomson Reuters’ Regulatory Intelligence that enforcement agencies in the UK already see asset confiscation as an essential element of their work.
He highlighted agencies’ use of unexplained wealth orders and account freezing orders. Aziz also emphasised the fact that UK courts have seen a rise in civil forfeiture of the proceeds of crime, with £208 million collected in 2019-20 – a figure that is 8% higher than five years earlier
Europol believes there has to be a better integration of the asset recovery process, involving law enforcement, the judiciary and asset management offices.
This is because, according to Pedro Felicio, head of unit operation at Europol's European economic and financial crime centre, “it is easier to put someone in jail than to confiscate assets’’.
Aziz's comments features in Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence. (Subscription required)
Aziz Rahman is Senior Partner at Rahman Ravelli and its founder. His ability to coordinate national, international and multi-agency defences has led to success in some of the most significant corporate crime cases of this century and top rankings in international legal guides. He is recognised worldwide as one of the most capable legal experts regarding top-level, high-value commercial and financial disputes.