Graft fighters and international experts gather at ICAC seminar to discuss ways to cut financial vein of the corrupt
Financial investigative capabilities and asset recovery were essential to the fight against corruption as its successes would not only rid criminals of their illicit gains and bring them to justice, but would also attack criminal enterprises at their core, said Mr Simon Peh Yun-lu, Commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), today (May 9).
Opening the ICAC International Seminar on Financial Investigation, themed “Cutting the Financial Vein of the Corrupt” this morning, Mr Peh said globalization and advancement in information technology had made corruption and related economic crimes increasingly transnational and complex.
“Those enforcing the law, in particular graft-fighters, face great challenges in that the corrupt and other criminals of the like will utilize modern financial structures to form building blocks for hidden ownership and concealed assets, often with sophisticated modus operandi,” Mr Peh noted.
In respect of complex cases of corruption and financial crimes, Mr Peh said it was of prime concern of law enforcement agencies to gather admissible evidence against the perpetrators.
For these reasons, different jurisdictions around the world had spent a great deal of resources in enriching capabilities to identify criminals’ assets for confiscation, and enhancing cross-jurisdictional liaison work for asset recovery, Mr Peh added.
The two-day international seminar, the first of its kind organised by the ICAC, aims to facilitate the sharing of experience and enrich experts and graft-fighters from around the world on the specialised topics of financial investigation and asset recovery.
The seminar features keynote speeches, case studies, a plenary session and related workshops, all of which are presented or facilitated by prominent experts in their respective fields of work.
The five keynote speakers who addressed the seminar today were Mr Keith Yeung Kar-hung, Director of Public Prosecutions, Department of Justice, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the People’s Republic of China (PRC); Mr Dimitri Vlassis, Chief, Corruption and Economic Crime Branch, Division for Treaty Affairs, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and Secretary, Conference of the States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption; Mr Cai Wei, Deputy Director General, Department of International Cooperation, Ministry of Supervision, the PRC; Mr David Green, Director, Serious Fraud Office, the United Kingdom; and Mr Guo Xingwang, Director-General, International Cooperation Department, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, the PRC.
The seminar was attended by about 240 delegates from anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies, justice departments, regulatory bodies, international organizations, and the accounting and legal professions, from 41 jurisdictions and 100 organisations, including the Mainland and Macao, Australia, Germany, India, the Netherland, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, the United States, the European Investment Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
ICAC Commissioner Simon Peh Yun-lu addresses the ICAC International Seminar on Financial Investigation.