Legal and organisational tools for tracing, seizing and confiscating assets, as well as the latest types of fraud, are some of the topics covered in a CEPOL course held in Riga, Latvia on 4-8 October 2010. Twenty three participants from 15 countries took active part in the seminar, exchanging experiences and examples of good practice associated with fighting fraud and recovering assets.
Hosted by the Latvian State Police at their headquarters, course participants enjoyed presentations from trainers representing Interpol, Eurojust, Portugal, Denmark and United Kingdom. All presentations were followed by discussions and supported by workshops that focused on proposing possible solutions to fighting fraud as well as tracing, seizing and confiscating assets.
The courses principal objectives were:
- Obtaining knowledge on advanced fraud scam trends;
- Sharing knowledge and experience regarding methods implemented by fraudsters to secure their free use of proceeds from crime.
José Luís Pereira Braguês, Financial Intelligence Unit of the Portuguese Criminal Police and Jakob T. Overgaard, Serious Economic Crime/ Danish National Police, presented national approaches to tracing, seizing and confiscating proceeds from crime implemented in Portugal and Denmark respectively.
Value added tax schemes, advanced fraud schemes and the use of off-shore companies to launder fraud proceeds were three topics presented by Katie Balls, Economic Crime Directorate, City of London Police.
Europol representative Burkhard Mühl presented “European legislation and initiatives in the field of asset recovery” highlighting a Council of the European Union decision about “Asset Recovery Offices” and describing it as “an important `institutional brick` in the EU framework for confiscation of criminal proceeds”. Ladislav Hamran, Slovakian Eurojust representative, delivered an in-depth report on the role of Eurojust in international legal cooperation.
The delegates from Ireland and the Netherlands had the extra benefit of being able to discuss a common case that is currently suspended in their Member States. Meeting eye-to-eye and addressing some of the cases more intricate issues brought new ideas and possible clues that have resulted in their re-examining the case since the course finished.
The seminar was organised by the State Police of Latvia with organisational support of from the State Police College and the Prosecutor General’s Office.