International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR): Phase VI of core contribution (2017-2020)

Project completed

The International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR) is an independent not-for-profit competence centre in asset recovery with a mission of supporting affected developing countries to investigate and prosecute financial crimes with the ultimate goal of recovering stolen public assets. Due to the growing demand by developing coun¬tries for support in asset recovery cases and ICAR’s proven track record as a strategic partner to the Swiss Govern¬ment, SDC has funded ICAR since 2006 with a core contribution. ICAR is part of the Basel Institute on Governance.

Topic Period Budget
Governance

Legal and judicial development
Anti-corruption organisations
01.09.2017 - 31.12.2020
CHF  3’000’000
Background Corruption can lead to pervasive distrust in government, generating violence, civil strife, and conflict. And the results are devastating for people.
Corruption is also costly - particularly for those who are already worse off. In fact, an IMF study (“Corruption: Costs and Mitigation Strategies”, 2016) estimates that bribery costs roughly USD 1.5 to USD 2 trillion annually, or approximately 2 percent of global GDP.
The recovery and return of stolen assets to their coun-tries of origin is a key component to combatting corrup-tion. Asset recovery includes all processes involved in the tracing, freezing, confiscating and returning of funds obtained through illegal activities. Asset recovery has recently also been seen as an important component with regard to the financing and implementation of the 2030 Agenda. It also is a target in SDG 16.
Objectives ICAR’s long-term goal is to strengthening the legal, technical and practical capacities of countries to recover stolen assets, resulting in these countries becoming increasingly more self-sufficient in doing so.
Target groups

ICAR’s work directly targets Criminal Police Offices, law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and financial institutes in partner countries.

Being demand-driven, ICAR only operates when asked to by a government.

People who ultimately profit from ICAR’s work in the end are those poorest who suffer from corruption through for example infant mortality and dropout rates, partly due to less spending on health and education.

Medium-term outcomes

ICAR’s outcome is to contribute to the quality and effectiveness of a country’s law enforcement and judicial system and thereby significantly strengthen the rule of law and public trust in government.

ICAR is pursuing two specific outcomes:

  1. Partner countries are successful in obtaining convictions for corruption and related financial crimes;
  2. Partner countries are successful at recovering stolen assets through these convictions
Results

Expected results:  

Key outputs are achieved through four lines of action:

  1. Case Advice
    ICAR partner countries effectively use their enforcement instruments with a view to recovering stolen assets.
  2. Training
    ICAR trainees improve their capacity to conduct asset recovery cases  by at least 30% as a direct result of ICAR training.
  3. Legal and Policy Work
    ICAR partner countries introduce state of the art investigative tools, legal instruments and/or policies and procedures in support of more effective asset recovery.
  4. Global Policy dialogue, tools and research
    Innovative or improved responses or approaches to asset recovery challenges are discussed and/or introduced globally and domestically


Results from previous phases:  

  • More than USD 20 million could be returned to the Governments of Kenya and Peru as a result of ICAR’s support to those two countries.
  • ICAR has contributed substantially to global policy initiatives, e.g. Guidelines for the Efficient Recovery of Stolen Assets (“Lausanne Guidelines”)
  • ICAR’s work in training and hands-on case-based capacity building demonstrated significant long-term impact in Kenya, Peru, the Kyrgyz Republic and Tanzania.


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Swiss Non-profit Organisation
  • Other Swiss Non-profit Organisation


Coordination with other projects and actors

Swiss level: This project will complement SDC’s work on governance and the work of other parts of the Swiss Administration such as the Swiss Directorate of International Law (DIL), the Department of Justice or the Office of the Attorney General to recover assets in Switzerland which have been stolen from developing countries.


International level: ICAR works closely with UNODC, the World Bank, the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR), the IMF, the OECD, the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Network (PNI), Interpol and the EU.

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    3’000’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    2’857’386
Project phases Phase 7 01.01.2021 - 31.12.2024   (Current phase)

Phase 6 01.09.2017 - 31.12.2020   (Completed)

Phase 5 01.01.2014 - 31.12.2016   (Completed)