This report, produced by the SPMU, provides an overview of the workshop that took place in Vienna on 9-11 July 2008 as well as recommendations by the participants. The primary goal was to improve national and international legal co-operation and information exchange between the investigative agencies and central authorities.
The workshop was jointly organised by the Strategic Police Matters Unit, the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities, the OSCE Centre in Astana, and the Organised Crime Section of the Division of Treaty Affairs of UNODC.
The event was in response to Permanent Council Decision No. 810 which calls upon the participating States to develop effective central authorities to receive, execute and transmit requests for mutual legal assistance, as foreseen by Article 18 of the UN Convention on Transnational Organised Crime (UNTOC). Decision No. 810 also tasks the Secretary General, within existing resources, to ensure the implementation by the Secretariat of the relevant parts of Ministerial Decisions Nos. 3/05 and 5/06, in particular through efforts to support implementation of the UNTOC, in co-operation and co-ordination with the UNODC.
The purpose of the regional workshop was to facilitate capacity building of the national criminal justice systems in Central Asia. The primary goal was to improve national and international legal co-operation and information exchange between the investigative agencies and central authorities. The workshop focused on enhancing the co-operation between the authorities from Central Asian countries and other source and destination countries involved in money laundering and the financial manipulation of proceeds from crime.
The event was financed by extra budgetary contributions provided by Norway, Belgium and the United States. The OSCE Centre in Astana, the SPMU and the UNODC also provided financial support from their respective budgets. The OSCE Central Asia field missions assisted in covering some of the travel costs of experts from their host countries.
The participants were experts who were directly involved in criminal justice co-operation to combat money laundering or who dealt with the identification, freezing, seizure and return of proceeds of crime.
The workshop brought top-level national experts from Ireland, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, the United States and the Netherlands together with 50 practitioners from the five Central Asian States, as well as Afghanistan and Ukraine. Interpol and Europol representatives also participated, along with senior legal advisers from the UNODC. There were a total of 68 participants.