Accountable Asset Return: UK Country Level Civil Society Report
Corruption Watch UK and Transparency International
The UK is an attractive location through which to launder the proceeds of corruption, and mounting evidence
points to its role as a safe haven for corrupt assets stolen from around the world.
In recent years, the UK Government has shown that it has the political will to tackle the problem. However,
in practice very few assets that are the proceeds of grand corruption have been returned, suggesting asset
recovery efforts are being hindered by an insuffciently robust framework for seizing and confscating corrupt
funds, and a lack of resources for law enforcement.
In December 2017, the USA and UK will co-host the Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR) – a meeting of
practitioners and policy experts focusing on assistance to Nigeria, Ukraine, Tunisia, and Sri Lanka. GFAR is an opportunity to build bridges to enable future collaboration and make concrete and measurable commitments to improving asset recovery efforts. In light of the approaching event, this paper sets out the strengths and weaknesses of the UK system, analyses cases relevant to GFAR countries, and makes recommendations for improvement.