02 May 2013
An asset recovery task force has been established in order to coordinate Jersey’s activity as part of an international effort to identify and recover illicitly obtained assets linked to Arab spring jurisdictions.
The task force comprises members of the Law Officers Department, the Jersey Financial Services Commission and the Joint Financial Crimes Unit. It was established as a result of Jersey’s ongoing participation in an international forum dedicated to assisting Arab spring jurisdictions with their asset recovery efforts. It reflects similar measures being taken by the UK Government and other governments around the world.
Representatives of the Law Officers Department and Joint Financial Crimes Unit attended the inaugural meeting of the Arab Forum on Asset Recovery held in Doha, Qatar between 10 and 13 September 2012. The forum was jointly organised by the State of Qatar and the United States presidency of the G8, with support from the World Bank UNODC Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative.
The forum included: G8 member states; members of the Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition (Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia); Regional countries (Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the UAE); and members of the wider international community. Its objective was to coordinate effort and raise awareness of effective measures for asset recovery, and provide a focus for regional training and discussion, as well as identifying country-specific needs.
Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, commented “The States of Jersey recognises the importance of asset recovery in supporting democratic transition and economic development. We have a proven track record in maintaining high standards of transparency, regulation and cooperation in financial services, including Anti Money Laundering regulations. We will continue to offer our full cooperation to the international effort to all work resulting from the Arab Forum on Asset Recovery.
“The establishment of our own task force shows how serious we are about assisting other governments with asset recovery. A particularly high-profile example of this was the Abacha case in 2003 when Jersey worked with the Nigerian Government, the US authorities and countries across Europe to repatriate $160 million of Jersey-held assets to the Nigerian authorities.
“The job of the task force is an intricate and painstaking one, and it may well take time to achieve results. But there is no doubt in my mind that this is valuable and important work.”