Freeze, confiscate, restore? Swiss ideas for future EU sanctions

This article is drawn from Clara Portela’s report for CiFAR – Sanctioning kleptocrats: An assessment of EU misappropriation sanctions written for CiFAR’s EU Sanctions Watch project. The blog was initially written for the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) and can be read in full on their website.  Sanctions for ‘misappropriation’ have proved their worth in forging ties[…]

CiFAR’s interview with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation

“Civil society can contribute to asset recovery and more transparent processes” In 2019, CiFAR in cooperation with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation researched global challenges in asset recovery and the role civil society plays to fight cross-border corruption. Here is an interview with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation with the authors, Agatino and Jackson from CIFAR, presenting[…]

The Nigeria “Cash Transfer Programme” takes off among challenges

This blog is part of a series monitoring the utilisation of Nigeria’s recovered assets and was prepared by Oluwatosin Fatoyinbo. Read Oluwatosin’s previous articles on Nigeria here. In our previous blogs, we outlined some of the issues of the Nigerian Cash Transfer Programme, planned to be funded with the $322 million of the Abacha loot[…]

What are the EU misappropriation sanctions and what are we doing about them?

With the help of their corrupt networks, kleptocrats steal billions from their citizens every year. One of the tools the European Union has at its disposal to fight kleptocrats are sanctions that freeze their assets. On 6th of March, at a Brussels event co-organised by our partners at Transparency International EU, CiFAR launched EU Sanctions Watch –[…]

Investigating cross-border corruption 101

One and a half years ago, CiFAR launched its first project with young, investigative journalists – Investigate the Mediterranean – supported by GIZ. This project was ambitious: to train young journalists who might have had no experience in investigations, let alone financial crime investigations, to bring them together with peers from North Africa and Europe,[…]

Europe’s forgotten corruption heaven: Moldova

Moldova – Europe’s tiny, little known and poorest country – has arguably become a giant of corruption and money laundering in the past ten years. Research indicates that the country landed in the hands of powerful kleptocrats – above all, Vladimir Plahotniuc – who were able to take control of most public institutions, making the[…]

The Nigeria “Cash Transfer Programme” and the $322 million return: More shadows than lights?

This blog is part of a series monitoring the utilisation of Nigeria’s recovered assets and was prepared by Oluwatosin Fatoyinbo. Read Oluwatosin’s previous article on Nigeria here. As CiFAR reported, Nigerian civil society is fighting hard to make the re-use of returned assets transparent and accountable, especially since the recent return of $322 million from[…]

The role of civil society in asset recovery and fighting corruption in Ukraine

This blog is a part of our Ukraine series – written and researched by Michael Howard. You can read the previous post here.  On 4 November, media reported the passing of 33-year-old anti-corruption activist Kateryna Handzyuk, who three months earlier had been horrifically injured in an acid attack in the city of Kherson in southern Ukraine.[…]

1MDB is moving forward, but it’s far from the end of the story

The 1MDB scandal is the principle asset recovery case in Malaysia at the moment and for good reason: it involves a lot of money: potentially up to US $4.5 billion, it alleges wrongdoing at the highest levels, with former Prime Minister Najib at the centre of the allegations, and it involves multiple jurisdictions. The scope[…]