A Series of Advanced Workshops on Financial Investigations for Deputy Prosecutors and Law Enforcement Officers from Anti-Corruption Units

A Series of Advanced Workshops on Financial Investigations for Deputy Prosecutors and Law Enforcement Officers from Anti-Corruption Units

September 17, 2020

The Judicial Academy of the Republic of Serbia, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) and USAID Government Accountability Initiative (GAI), held four two-day advanced workshops from June through September 2020, on financial investigations for deputy prosecutors, law enforcement officers from specialized units, and representatives of several institutions that nominate liaison officers. The certified training was based on the GAI-assisted Practicum for Investigation and Adjudication of Corruption Cases which is published and has been available to the public since September 2019

More than 80 representatives of the Anti-Corruption Units of the Higher Public Prosecutor’s Offices, Ministry of Interior (Anti-Corruption and Financial Investigation Units), Tax Police, Customs Administration and the Anti-Money Laundering Administration, participated in the workshops held in Vrnjačka Banja (June 4-5), Niš (June 25-26), Novi Sad (July 2-3) and Belgrade (September 10-11). Each event covered four thematic areas: improved interagency cooperation; access to open and closed databases; financial investigations and use of financial forensics with money flow analysis; police operative work and mutual legal assistance.

Participants were able to work on a comprehensive case study (modelled after an actual closed case scenario from the Belgrade Higher PPO specialized unit) and a set of practical exercises including drafting an investigative and implementation plan; income and expenditure table analysis; analysis of a report prepared by a financial forensic expert; and application of special investigative measures during the proactive investigation.

According to the evaluation results, participants deemed the main takeaways from the workshop to be the use of financial forensics in proactive investigations, utilization of open and closed databases of other state institutions as a reliable source of information, and developing strategies for improved inter-agency cooperation and communication. Participants also evaluated the part of the workshop related to mutual legal assistance as very beneficial for their work.

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