New Program to Counteract Financial Crime in Iraq

New program to help counteract serious financial crimes in Iraq

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Iraq, in partnership with the United States Government and the Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq has launched a multi-year training initiative today, to strengthen and improve complex organized and financial crime investigations in Iraq.

The training program, called Organized and Financial Crime Investigations: An Integrated Approach, focuses on the skills, expertise, techniques, and procedures necessary for Iraqi judges and other professionals to effectively investigate complex financial crime cases.

It also makes recommendations to improve policies and procedures for the investigation and prosecution of complex organised and financial crimes and establishes a roadmap for implementing those policies.

As part of the initiative, UNDP will work with judges, prosecutors and financial crime investigators to conduct workshops for various Iraqi government institutions on organized and financial crimes, and to oversee the development of a handbook on leading and conducting complex financial crime investigations.

Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq, the Honorable Judge Faiq Zaidan, emphasised that the goal of the program is "to strengthen the procedures and tactics of investigative judges on approaching and leading complex financial crime investigations, in close collaboration with the colleagues from the investigative agencies" of the Commission of Integrity, the Board of Supreme Audit, the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Office of the Central Bank, and the specialised investigation directorates of the Ministry of the Interior.

U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Matthew Tueller stated that Iraq requires "efficient tools and policies to help investigate and prosecute financial crimes, because the motivation behind the majority of these criminal offenses is personal enrichment that hurts the Iraqi state and people."  The United States Department of State was pleased to finance UNDP's assessment on financial crime investigation capabilities in Iraq; this assessment helped lay the groundwork for the training and was instrumental in drafting guidelines financial investigation techniques for judges and investigators.

Ms Zena Ali-Ahmad, UNDP Resident Representative stated "This program and accompanying paper acknowledges how complex, organised financial crimes such as corruption, money laundering, and illicit accumulation of wealth are contributing to an atmosphere of privilege and injustice.  These crimes are a major impediment to Iraq's economic recovery, stability, and development. UNDP stands ready to work alongside the Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq and other institutions to help put an end to these crimes and is extremely grateful to the U.S. Department of State for funding this important initiative."

Funds from this project have been generously provided by the United States Government. The project is part of UNDP Iraq's Security Sector Reform/Rule of Law Programme.

(Source: UN)

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