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Global Forum for Asset Recovery

Home Office

Estimated Completion, December 2017

The Global Forum for Asset Recovery brought together governments and law enforcement agencies to work together to recover stolen assets. The Forum was designed to strengthen co-operation between the countries that have had assets stolen and the countries where those assets are hidden, and to help ensure law enforcement on both sides drive forward vital work to return illicit funds. The inaugural Forum was held in Washington D.C. from 4-6 December, and focused on assistance to four priority countries (Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Tunisia and Ukraine).

Global forum for asset recovery


When the proceeds of corruption are laundered through the UK, it presents a criminal, reputational, and national security risk, as well as a great injustice for the countries from which the funds have been stolen. The UK has an added responsibility arising from its unique status. London’s international reputation has often attracted money launderers who find it easier to mingle their dirty funds in a larger centre with substantial flows of legitimate money.

It is therefore imperative that the UK is able to prevent money laundering and detect, seize and recover those stolen assets that do enter the country. Due to ‘London’s status as a safe haven’ and the resultant high volume of foreign capital that comes in or through the UK, this country has an opportunity to take a pro-active leadership role in the detection and recovery of the proceeds of corruption laundered through this jurisdiction.


At the Anti-Corruption Summit, the UK promised to “work with others to establish a Global Forum for Asset Recovery and provide resources to support it”. The inaugural meeting of the Forum was co-hosted by the UK and the USA in December 2017, with support from the joint World Bank and UNODC Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR) and focusing on assistance to Nigeria, Ukraine, Tunisia and Sri Lanka.

The Forum aimed to step up international efforts on asset recovery, and at the Summit 20 other countries committed to strengthen or reinforce legislation to ensure stolen assets can be recovered.