International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR) - Core Contribution

Projet terminé

The International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR) is an independent not-for-profit competence center in asset recovery with a mission to support developing countries to recover stolen assets. SDC has supported ICAR since its creation in 2006 given its international importance as a strategic partner in asset recovery. The Asset Recovery agenda is of high political importance to Switzerland because of its pioneering role in taking legal measures against stolen assets deposited in Swiss banks and in returning them to their rightful owners. 

Thème Période Budget
Développement des systèmes légaux et judiciaires
Politique du secteur publique
01.01.2014 - 31.12.2016
CHF 3'250'000

Corruption is damaging to societies and hinders development. Its impact is particularly damaging for developing countries which lose billions of dollars every year through corrupt acts such as bribery, misappropriation or other abuse of functions. Stolen assets are often laundered through the global financial system.
Switzerland has a fundamental interest in preventing corruption in developing countries, ensuring that assets of criminal origin are not deposited in the finance centers of Switzerland, and detecting stolen assets and repatriating them.


The overall goal of this 5th core contribution to ICAR is to enhance the capacity of developing and transition countries to successfully handle asset recovery processes.

Groupes cibles

Criminal Police Offices, law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, financial institutes of around 30 intervention countries (e.g. Bhutan, Indonesia, Romania, Colombia, Peru, West Africa (with Interpol), regional Middle East and North Africa (MENA), possibly Myanmar or Mekong Delta countries (specialized on extractive industries).

Effets à moyen terme

The outcome of this project is an increase in the number of asset recovery cases being pursued by developing or transition countries and an increased number of trained professionals who will be able to use their knowledge to successfully handle asset recovery requests.

It is also envisaged to design Asset Recovery tools with an enhanced emphasis on the anti-money laundering component of asset recovery, which may include a more targeted cooperation with Financial Intelligence Units or respective regional or international inter-agency networks.

This outcome objective is achieved through four lines of action:

  1. Training
  2. Legal and Case Consultancy
  3. Asset Recovery Support Tools             
  4. Contribution to the global policy dialogue and to international standard setting.




Principaux résultats antérieurs:  

- Developed unique hands-on, country-focused and needs-driven training programs in financial investigation, mutual legal assistance and asset recovery carried out in more than 30 countries worldwide.

- ICAR has devoted substantial time in advising countries in the investigation and prosecution of concrete international corruption and money laundering cases with slow success. Reviewing the results, it has been noted that casework is complex due to sensitivity and dependence on the actual political will of a country requesting assistance. Hence, more time is needed to get tangible results.

- Important Asset Recovery Support Tools for facilitating the management and implementation of asset recovery processes have been designed (e.g. Asset Recovery Intelligence Service, ARIS).

- Policy dialogue on international and national level: ICAR has become an internationally well-respected NGO that widely shares its expe­rience.

Conclusion: Further concentrate efforts on specific topics and try to integrate activities in order to enhance overall impact.

Direction/office fédéral responsable DDC
Crédit Coopération au développement
Partenaire de projet Partenaire contractuel
  • Autre organisation suisse non-profit

Budget Phase en cours Budget de la Suisse CHF   3'250'000 Budget suisse déjà attribué CHF   3'206'304 Projet total depuis la première phase Budget y compris partenaires de projet CHF  10'830'000

UK-DFID, Liechtenstein.

Project income through direct mandates (e.g. IMF, UNODC Egypt, Indonesia).


Coordination avec autres projets et acteurs

Program level: The proposed program has synergies with SDC’s Bhutan desk (TA for Corruption Agency), Directorate of Political Affairs (Sectorial Foreign Policies Division with respect to the UN Convention Against Corruption) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (with regard to Anti-Money Laundering technical assistance programs). 

Swiss level: This project will complement the work of other parts of the Swiss Administration such as the Swiss Directorate of International Law, 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, World Bank, the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR), IMF, OECD, G8 Arab Forum on Asset Recovery (AFAR), United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Network (PNI), OSCE, UNDP, Interpol and the EU.

Phases du projet Phase 6 01.09.2017 - 31.12.2020   (Phase en cours) Phase 5 01.01.2014 - 31.12.2016   (Completed)