Recovering the financial gain from crime
What are AROs?
The main motive for cross-border organised crime is financial gain. This financial gain is a stimulus for committing further crime to achieve even more profit. Accordingly, law enforcement services should have the necessary skills to investigate and analyse financial trails of criminal activity. To combat organised crime effectively, information that can lead to the tracing and seizure of proceeds from crime and other property belonging to criminals has to be exchanged rapidly between the Member States of the European Union.
Council Decision 2007/845/JHA obliges Member States to set up or designate national Asset Recovery Offices (“AROs”) as national central contact points which facilitate, through enhanced cooperation, the fastest possible EU-wide tracing of assets derived from crime. The Decision allows the AROs to exchange information and best practices, both upon request and spontaneously, regardless of their status (administrative, law enforcement or judicial authority).
Council Decision 2007/845/JHA requests AROs to exchange information under the conditions laid down in Framework Decision 2006/960/JHA2 (“the Swedish Initiative”) and in compliance with the applicable data protection provisions.
The Decision was also intended to support the CARIN (Camden Assets Recovery Inter-agency Network), a global network of practitioners and experts aimed at enhancing mutual knowledge about methods and techniques for cross-border identification, freezing, seizure and confiscation of illicitly acquired assets.
For more information on how to contact you local ARO office, click here.
The last ARO platform meeting took place on the 14 and 15 January 2019. The next meeting is scheduled for May/June 2019.
How AROs cooperate
The first step in criminal asset recovery is for Asset Recovery Offices to cooperate to identify the location of assets suitable for recovery.
ARO's will then take steps to ensure that the assets are preserved and secured. The ARO may obtain a freezing order, take possession of the asset, or utilise another power available to it.
The final step is for the asset to be confiscated following a final determination by a Court. The asset or the net proceeds from the disposal of the asset will then be transferred to the State or to a designated body.