Crime busters target global grand corruption

A new multinational centre to coordinate law enforcement action against grand corruption has been launched.

The International Anti-Corruption Coordination Centre (IACCC), hosted by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA), brings together specialist law enforcement officers from multiple jurisdictions into a single location to tackle allegations of grand corruption.

The IACCC’s members include agencies from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK and the USA, with Interpol scheduled to join later this year. There is already significant cooperation between the countries in tackling trans-national serious crime, however to date no mechanism has prioritised or coordinated specific action against grand corruption. The new centre will improve fast-time intelligence sharing, assist countries that have suffered grand corruption and help bring corrupt elites to justice.

Grand corruption can include acts of corruption by politically exposed persons that may involve vast quantities of assets and that threaten political stability and sustainable development. Acts that might fall into this category include bribery of public officials, embezzlement, abuse of function or the laundering of the proceeds of crime. It increases poverty and inequality, undermines good business and threatens the integrity of financial markets.

The UK committed to establishing and hosting the IACCC during the 2016 Anti-Corruption Summit, and the National Crime Agency will host the IACCC until 2021, supported by UK government departments.

Donald Toon, NCA Director of Economic Crime, said: “There is no doubt that the world’s major economies are abused by corrupt leaders. We have a responsibility to guard against that abuse, limit the damage it causes to countries already battling poverty, and pursue the individuals who put self-interest above the welfare of citizens. This is the first law enforcement partnership specifically coordinating the global response to grand corruption. We know from our experience the value that dedicated centres for collaboration bring to successful international law enforcement action and we will use all our combined expertise to tackle the most complex and devastating cases of corruption.”

Australian Federal Police (AFP) Deputy Commissioner Operations Neil Gaughan, said: “Bribery and corruption distorts competitive conditions resulting in an inefficient allocation of resources and economic disparity. International corruption requires a global response; it is a threat to democracy, destabilising, corrosive of good governance and an impediment to economic development. As a member of the IACCC, the AFP is committed to combatting these threats though enhanced law enforcement cooperation.”

Law enforcement agencies that are members of the IACCC:

  • Australian Federal Police
  • Zealand’s Serious Fraud Office
  • Zealand Police
  • Canadian Mounted Police
  • Practices Investigation Bureau of the Republic of Singapore
  • National Crime Agency
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation

Agencies planning to join IACCC later this year

  • Interpol
  • US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)

Switzerland and Germany were involved in the design and establishment of the IACCC and will remain observers, participating in the IACCC Governance Board meetings as occasion demands.

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