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The Swiss Experience in Returning Illicit Assets of PEPs. Viktor J. Vavricka Directorate of International Law Federal Department of Foreign Affairs viktor.vavricka@eda.admin.ch G8/OAS-Seminar Miami, May 2-5, 2006. Two Examples . Sani Abacha (Nigeria)

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the swiss experience in returning illicit assets of peps

The Swiss Experience in Returning Illicit Assets of PEPs

Viktor J. Vavricka

Directorate of International Law

Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

viktor.vavricka@eda.admin.ch

G8/OAS-Seminar Miami, May 2-5, 2006

two examples
Two Examples

Sani Abacha (Nigeria)

  • November 2004: Nigerian commitment to use funds for education, health (HIV/AIDS) and basic infrastructure (national MDG strategy)
  • February 2005: Swiss Federal Tribunal to allow return of remaining USD 458 million
  • Coordination, stakeholders, negociations (and TKELA…)
  • September 2005: The Governments of Nigeria and Switzerland agreed on a transparent process to return the funds (win-win)
  • Agreement with the World Bank to proceed with a Public Expenditure Management and Financial Accountability Review (PEMFAR)
  • Civil society participation, funded by Swiss Government
slide3
Angola
  • 2002: Criminal proceedings in Geneva in connection with the restructuring of public Angolan debt towards the Russian Federation.
  • Bilateral tensions and negociations with Angolan Government regarding the use of possible funds
  • November 2003: preliminary agreement reached
  • December 2004: case closed in Geneva (no irregularities found in the settlement of the public debt)
slide4
Angola
  • Geneva judicial authorities agreed to lift blocking order on four accounts containing USD 21 million to enable the bilateral agreement to be implemented
  • Agreement: funds transfered to account with Swiss National Bank
  • Account holder: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
  • Social and humanitarian program, joint implementation by executive secretariat
  • SDC pays overhead costs
modalities for disposition and transfer
Modalities for Disposition and Transfer
  • Transfer to an account of the victim state (no strings attached),
  • Transfer to an account of the victim state, monitoring by recipient state or a third party
  • Transfer to an institution which uses the funds in favour of the victim State (transfer via a third party, e.g. debt reduction, country specific trust fund)
  • Transfer to an institution which uses the funds in favour of the population of the victim state
  • Transfer to the returning country's development cooperation or humanitarian projects in favour of the population of the victim State
  • No transfer at all.
elements of swiss policy
Elements of Swiss Policy
  • Fundamental interest that assets of criminal origin are not invested in CH
  • Comprehensive range of legal and institutional measures to protect financial center against inflow of illegal assets
  • If assets of criminal origin find their way into CH, CH wants to return them quickly to the country of origin
  • Banking secrecy: does not protect criminals
  • Coherent measures at international level, need for cooperation between financial centers
  • G8 Disposition Paper
g8 disposition paper
G8 Disposition Paper
  • Transparency and accountability in the transfer and administration of returned assets
  • Presumption of transfer to the benefit of the people harmed
  • Case-specific treatment
  • Encourage UNCAC principles
  • Consistency and coordination
  • Use of an agreement
  • Principles are fully in line with the Swiss experience
thank you

Thank you

Viktor J. Vavricka

Directorate of International Law

Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

G8/OAS-Seminar Miami, May 2-5, 2006