Today, Tirana was the central point for regional experts’ cooperation in the asset recovery activities, with the Alumni Asset Recovery Practitioners’ Conference gathering over 70 professionals from the Southeast Europe region, as well as the UK experts. The Conference is a part of the project “Combating corruption and organised crime in the Western Balkans through strengthening regional cooperation in asset recovery” implemented by the Advice on Individual Rights in Europe (AIRE Centre) in cooperation with the Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative (RAI) Secretariat, funded by the UK Government.
“Today, we gathered judges, prosecutors and experts from the Western Balkans, as well as their colleagues from other jurisdictions, to discuss regional cooperation in confiscation of the proceeds of crime and tools for its effective implementation. Confiscating the proceeds of crime helps eliminate the greatest incentive for criminal conduct: profit. Facilitating asset recovery in the region is crucial for the long-term, global fight against corruption and organized crime. Further, asset recovery strengthens public trust in institutions and is an essential aspect of efforts to uphold the rule of law in the region”, shared Biljana Braithwaite, Program Director of the AIRE Center for the Western Balkans.
The United Kingdom reaffirmed its strong support for asset recovery activities, with a strong emphasis on regional cooperation. “Asset recovery is a crucial tool in the fight against organised crime and corruption, enabling better security and economic prosperity for citizens. Through the UK-funded regional project delivered by the AIRE Centre, in partnership with the RAI Secretariat, the UK supports strengthened regional and international cooperation to share best practice, track money laundering and recover stolen assets”, added Jason Ivory, Chargé d’Affaires at the British Embassy in Tirana.
Desislava Gotskova, Head of the RAI Secretariat, underlined the importance of confiscation and asset recovery in the fight against organized crime. “The importance of regional cooperation is essential for the effective fight against corruption. Responding to its member states’ priorities, RAI has been active in the field of asset recovery for a number of years, supporting its members’ endeavors to strengthen their capacities for effective confiscation of proceeds of crime. This conference is a vivid example of fostering regional cooperation among the asset recovery practitioners from Southeast Europe together, as the best way forward”, concluded Gotskova.