Research

21/08/2016

Expert, innovative research is essential in advocating for reform to prevent the theft of state assets and ensure their return.

Current research is listed below and in relevant project pages.

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The Shadow Economy: Germany and illicit financial flows

Every year, over $1 trillion are lost in developing countries through corruption, tax evasion and other illicit gains. What are illicit financial flows and what is the role of countries from the “Global North”, and in particular Germany, in hiding those assets and what should they do to prevent this? Find out in this comprehensive paper prepared by our group of young activists in Germany. This paper was published in the framework of a BMZ/Engagement Global sponsored project aiming to raise the awareness of illicit financial flows in Germany.

Read it here in English and German.

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Cross-border Criminality: Illicit Financial Flows and North-South Mafias in Germany

Organised crime has developed over the years creative and powerful ways to exploit the loops in the global financial system to launder their revenues from criminal activity. Millions of dollars are moved every year from the South to the North by Mafias, which has negative impacts both in developing and in “western” countries. Germany, as a major financial hub, plays a big role in this. In this paper, our group of volunteers in Germany analyses these movements and their implications for the Global North, particularly Germany. This paper was published in the framework of a BMZ/Engagement Global sponsored project aiming to raise the awareness of illicit financial flows in Germany.

Read it here in English and German.

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Forgotten Gold: The Yemen Sanctions

Seven years after the uprising in Yemen and with a brutal civil war still ongoing, the asset freeze against former President Saleh is often forgotten. Our latest report details the asset freeze and provides new information on the status of that freeze in five European countries.

Read it here.

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Tax amnesties and asset repatriation programmes

More and more countries use tax amnesty and asset repatriation programmes to push their citizens to declare their assets and bring back them back in exhange of favourable treament. But how effective are they, what counter-effects do they have? We looked at these issues in this study carried out in cooperation with the Transparency International Helpdesk. Read it here.

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Public registers of beneficial ownership: the state of play 2017

Countries are moving more and more to public, open data registers of beneficial ownership. These registers are already in place in a number of jurisdictions. We examine these here and draw conclusions on how existing registers should be improved and new ones created.

Read more here EN | DE.

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Anti corruption summit commitments

In May 2016 countries from across the globe came to London and pledged to do more to fight corruption.
A number of those countries committed to fight the theft of public assets and for the accountable and transparent return of those assets.
Those commitments are all here.

Read more here.

Asset recovery in Germany

As one of the world’s largest economies, Germany plays an important role in supporting developing countries to recover stolen assets hidden by corrupt officials abroad. While estimates about stolen assets stored in German bank accounts are not publicly available, anecdotal evidence shows that the country has been attractive to corrupt individuals due to the secrecy of its financial system.

Read more on our paper written for the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre and Transparency International here.