Meeting of Heads of Prosecutorial Services of BRICS Member States on Anti-Corruption Cooperation Took Place in Sanya

01 december 2016, 12:25

Today, on December 1, 2016, Sanya (People’s Republic of China) hosted a meeting of the heads of prosecutorial services of the BRICS Member States on the issues related to fight against corruption for sustainable social and economic development of the state.

The event was held under the chairmanship of the Prosecutor General of the People’s Republic of China Cao Jianming.

From the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation, the meeting was attended by the Deputy Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation Vladimir Malinovsky and the Head of the Department for Supervision over Legislation on Combating Corruption Alexander Rusetsky.

The topical issue of the report presented by Mr. Malinovsky was the urgency of the issues related to the return from abroad of the assets obtained through the commission of crimes and offences, including corruption. This topic has been recently the key international agenda.

The Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation established a national contact point to ensure practical international cooperation for the purposes of identifying, arresting, confiscating and returning the assets obtained through corrupt activities.

In accordance with the criminal procedure and administrative legislation, the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation is engaged in the procedures of rendering legal assistance in criminal and administrative cases.

In March, 2016, the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation established a working group in order to streamline this work and to elaborate proposals on improving the legislation and law enforcement practice. Its activity is aimed at returning from abroad of the assets obtained through the commission of corruption crimes and offenses.

In addition, returning from the foreign jurisdictions of funds and property of the officials, the legal origin of which they cannot prove, is also of great relevance.

From 2010 to the present, Russian prosecutors and the competent bodies of foreign states contributed to returning from abroad of the property and funds totaling more than USD 300 million, including objects of art and documents of historical value.

Currently, at the request of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation, expensive objects of immovable property were arrested in various Western European countries.

The legislation of the Russian Federation stipulates that if the expenses incurred by an official or members of his/her family exceed the confirmed income of such family over the past three years, the property acquired on incomes, the validity of which has not been confirmed, shall be seized in favor of the state.

In a number of countries, such circumstances constitute the crime of illicit enrichment, which can be criminalized in accordance with Article 20 of the UN Convention against Corruption.

In Russia, officials shall be brought to civil (material) and disciplinary liability for such offences. By the court decision, assets acquired by the officials on unconfirmed incomes shall be collected to the state budget.

Only during 9 months of 2016, prosecutors have initiated 265 control procedures, and the courts have received 30 claims on forfeiture to the Russian Federation of objects of movable and immovable property amounting to almost 60 million rubles.

Out of the claims considered by the court, 7 claims are currently sustained in the amount exceeding 30 million rubles.

In general, from the time of delivery in 2013 by the law of the relevant authority and up to the present, prosecutors have initiated more than 500 control procedures, and more than 40 claims have been brought to the court with regards to the forfeiture to the Russian Federation of more than 80 objects of property (vehicles, land plots, residential and non-residential premises), in respect of which there was no information confirming the legitimacy of the income spent on their purchase. The total cost of such property amounted to about 200 million rubles.

For a specified period, the courts have been sustained 11 claims with respect to 24 objects of property with the aggregate value exceeding 85 million rubles.

In the Russian Federation, different government agencies are working on returning assets exported abroad and derived from illicit activities. However, the key activities to return the assets are conducted by the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation, which is the supervising authority and has the functions of coordinator of law enforcement agencies in the fight against crime.

The Deputy Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation Vladimir Malinovsky also noted that international cooperation in the field of combating corruption and maintaining a high level of authority of the Russian Federation was considered by the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation as one of priority directions of its activity.

In this regard, considerable work has been done to ensure Russia’s participation in the UNCAC Review Mechanism, the activities of the Group of States against Corruption, the Working Group of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, the Interstate Council for Countering Corruption within the Commonwealth of Independent States, the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities, and other global fora.

According to Mr. Malinovsky, the BRICS is a new and promising area of international cooperation to strengthen the strategic partnership and capacity-building efforts of states for the purpose of developing responses to emerging challenges and threats, including corruption.

It is commonly known that in 2015, the BRICS leaders established the BRICS Anti-Corruption Working Group actively engaged by representatives of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation.

Currently, the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation has signed 78 interdepartmental cooperation arrangements with the competent authorities of 66 foreign countries, including Brazil, China and South Africa, providing, in particular, cooperation in combating crime, including corruption.

The Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation is greatly interested in the information related to operation TianWang conducted last year in China, under which it was managed to return to China more than thousand defendants in criminal cases on corruption crimes and assets for a large amount of money.

In conclusion, Mr. Malinovsky assured the participants that the Russian Party would continue to exert all possible efforts to strengthen activities aimed at combating corruption in all its manifestations.

In addition, on the sidelines of the meeting, the Deputy Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation Vladimir Malinovsky held bilateral meetings with the Attorney General of the Federative Republic of Brazil Rodrigo Janot Monteiro de Barros and the National Director of the Prosecution Service in the Republic of South Africa Sean Kevin Abrahams.

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