Is Tunisia reconciliating with the corrupt?

Tunisia’s parliament has voted overwhelmingly in favour of a controversial law granting “reconciliation” to public officials involved in corruption who served in government during the rule of the autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali. This law, which for many critics is simply an amnesty for criminals and a way to rehabilitate Ben Ali’s allies back into[…]

A model case of public asset theft?

One could argue that former Ukrainian president Yanukovych is a model case for major public asset theft, how to profit from the secrecy of the global financial system and on the failures and hurdles in recovering those assets. Money, money, money, money While credible estimates are as always difficult, if not impossible to make, it[…]

A new framework for asset recovery?

“A robust international framework for quick restitution of stolen assets is long overdue” Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria at the OECD, 30 March 2017.   Last week we were at the OECD for the 2017 Global Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum, an event billed as a follow-on to the 2016 London Anti-Corruption Conference and bringing[…]

The Tunisian Job: How to recover 13 billion dollars stolen by the Ben Ali family

Zine el Abidine Ben Ali fled Tunisia in January 2011 following popular protests which ended his 23-year rule at the start of what became known as the Arab Spring. It is no secret how the ruler and his family enriched themselves during that period. The World Bank estimates the wealth of the Ben Ali family[…]

What is asset recovery and why you should care

(Click here for Spanish) Despite the alarming political, economic and social impact of public asset theft, the world of asset recovery remains a mystery to the general public. As 20 to 40 billion dollars in state assets are stolen by public officials or powerful leaders in developing countries throughout the world, it’s time we learn[…]

Is Germany a tax haven? Part I

Over the past few years, Germany has been praised for its efforts in leading on transparency and anti-corruption in the global agenda and for supporting countries in transition to recover stolen assets. But at the same time, the German finance ministry estimates that €100 billon is laundered through Germany each year.  What’s the truth? In[…]

Beyond destinations, havens and victims

When we talk about the theft of public assets and their return, we often get into a discussion of ‘destination countries’, ‘tax havens’ and ‘victim countries.’ These terms roughly correspond in most of our minds to: Destination countries: Rich, developed countries with steadily increasing property markets and stable banks Tax Havens: Island nations with large[…]