Asset Recovery and International Cooperation – A Course for Law Enforcement

Asset Recovery and International Cooperation – A Course for Law Enforcement

CEELI Training 2021


May 10 – June 10 (5 weeks)

The purpose of this course is to bring together various aspects of law enforcement training related to corruption and money laundering in order to focus on the identification, location, collection, and return of assets purchased using the illegal proceeds of crime.  Often, the identification and forfeiture of assets purchased with illegal proceeds are an afterthought of a corruption or money laundering investigation.  The assets are only identified and located when tracing the illegal funds to the purchase of the asset is essential to the charging of a criminal corruption case.

However, there are a number of reasons to pursue the recovery of assets purchased using illegal proceeds early in an investigation.  A few of these reasons include:  concerns the asset will be removed from the investigator’s reach into another jurisdiction; challenges with the collection of evidence connecting the asset to the crime or specified unlawful activity; or legal issues that may prevent the seizure and forfeiture of the asset.  However, none of these reasons should deter an investigator from pursuing the return of these assets.


Course structure

  • 5-weeks course.
  • 2 online sessions a week.
  • One session lasts two and a half hours: one and half for lectures and one hour for homework preparation in breakout groups under the guidance of course instructors.
  • The last half hour of each course session will be voluntary for the students.

    Course details

    While not every asset purchased with illegal proceeds may be traced to a foreign jurisdiction, more and more grand corruption, or large-scale corruption, involves illegal proceeds being transported out of the country to conceal them from local investigators.  This course will provide solutions to all of the challenges mentioned and give investigators and prosecutors the ability to successfully recover illegal proceeds of corruption hidden in the form of tangible assets or financial accounts and instrumentalities.

    During this course, investigators and prosecutors will spend at least one full session searching open-source databases to identify, locate, and seize assets.  The amount of online material provides an incredible opportunity to use open-source database searches to further asset recovery investigations.  However, there are challenges to the collection of original electronic data and social media postings which will be addressed in this course.

    In addition, during a brief refresher on the laws covering money laundering, the instructors will cover the use of virtual or crypto currency to launder money and to purchase assets with illegal proceeds.  This refresher will include a discussion of basic trade-based money laundering in connection to the concealment of illegal proceeds of money laundering.

    Finally, the students will spend at least one full session on financial tracing, including a discussion of the role of the Financial Intelligence Unit in identifying and tracing illegal proceeds.  Students will be provided with expert guidance on using the vast array of materials available to FIUs, particularly from the U.S.


    Course modules

    Module 1 – Identifying and Locating Assets Purchased with Illegal Proceeds Using Open-Source Data and Social Media Postings.

    Module 2 – Financial Tracing and Asset Recovery – You Think You Found an Asset!

    Module 3 – The Laws Supporting Asset Recovery – Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Laws.

    Module 4 – Crypto Currency – The Increasing Role of Crypto-Currency as the Goal or Facilitator of Criminal Activity and Money Laundering.

    Module 5 – Preparing Your Formal Request – Do Not Just Leave it to your Legal Advisor or Prosecutor.

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