Financial investigation agencies take part in asset recovery workshop

Crown counsel Garcia Kelly, middle, and FCU financial investigator Dean Murray, right, represented Cayman at the ARIN-Carib AGM in early September.

Cayman’s investigative agencies learned about techniques used to recover assets in financial crime cases, especially when international cooperation is needed, in a workshop on 11 and 12 Sept.

It was organised as part of government’s efforts to bolster the island’s financial investigation capabilities, in response to recommendations made in the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force’s most recent report.

Asset recovery advisor Jill Thomas led the workshop.

Representatives from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Financial Reporting Authority, RCIPS Financial Crime Investigation Unit, Joint Intelligence Unit and Joint Crime Task Force heard from international asset recovery advisor Jill Thomas.

Thomas, who has previously worked with agencies like Europol, led the two-day workshop.

The sessions centred on a case-based scenario which required the agencies to work together on an investigation involving the assets of two defendants that had to be traced domestically and internationally.

The benefit of this approach was that the more experienced attendees were able to share their prior positive experiences and knowledge with the others, the police said in a press release. Participants were also able to identify and discuss gaps in Cayman’s asset recovery legislation and procedures, in order to identify temporary workarounds and priority areas for improvement.

Following on from the two-day training, an international asset recovery manual was prepared on behalf of the jurisdiction, to streamline the approach by all agencies in these types of cases.

Earlier in September, two representatives from Cayman attended the annual general meeting of the Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network for the Caribbean (ARIN-CARIB). Cayman is a member of the network of law enforcement and judicial practitioners in the field of asset tracing, freezing, seizure and confiscation.

Crown Counsel Garcia Kelly gave a presentation at the AGM about Cayman’s use of the network in a large money laundering case, and Cayman was nominated as a member of the ARIN-CARIB steering group.

“The presentation was geared towards looking at typologies within the region and examining how best to address what seems to be a growing trend,” Kelly said.

The AGM was an opportunity to recommit to the purpose of the network and discuss asset recovery issues relevant to the region, he added.