TI France releases plan for returning ill-gotten gains of grand corruption to country of origin

Issued by Transparency International France



Translations: ES


At 10am on 27 October 2017, a French court will return its verdict in the unprecedented trial, "Biens mal acquis”*. On the occasion this decision, Transparency International France, the leading civil party in the case, has formulated a proposal to enable the return of money resulting from grand corruption to the populations of the countries of origin, who are the primary victims of these crimes. It is they who pay the highest price for the illicit enrichment of their ruling elites.

Every year, billions of euros are diverted, especially to France, to fuel the expensive lifestyles of corrupt leaders abroad, instead of funding infrastructure and essential public services such as hospitals, roads or schools.

In the event of conviction and confiscation of property, it is essential that the sums recovered be returned to the populations who have been unjustly deprived of them. This is provided for in the United Nations Convention against Corruption (Article 57.3.c).

However, there is nothing in current French law to guarantee that assets recovered from cases of grand corruption are allocated to the benefit of the victims. In fact, the confiscated assets and the money resulting from their sale return to the State budget. Urgent changes are needed to the French legislative framework.

A totally unfair situation

"How can one justify that the assets seized in grand corruption cases do not return one way or another to the victims?" protests Maud Perdriel-Vaissière, a member of Transparency International France and author of the report.

To fill this gap, Transparency International France proposes the introduction of an illicit asset allocation mechanism (see below). The NGO intends to promote this tool during a conference to be held at the National Assembly on 23 November 2017.

Far from being limited to the "Biens mal acquis” case alone, the proposed tool is intended to apply to all cases of grand corruption.

“Fourteen years ago France actively advocated for the return of illicit assets to be included in the United Nations Convention against Corruption. It is high time to implement this commitment," said Marc-André Feffer, President of Transparency France.

The key points of the plan proposed by Transparency International France

1. The seized assets, as well as the sums of money recovered, must be isolated from the State budget and placed in a special account, pending their allocation to the population of the state of origin.

2. The funds shall be used exclusively for improving the living conditions of the populations of the countries of origin and / or for strengthening the rule of law and the fight against corruption.

3. A consultation process must be conducted in a transparent and inclusive manner which includes the participation of civil society representatives.

4. Funds must be managed in a transparent manner and their use strictly controlled.

 

*Ill-gotten gains: a 10-year legal battle

In 2008, alerted by several reports and the result of a preliminary police investigation, Transparency International France launched through its lawyer, William Bourdon, a legal battle that many described as a lost cause.  The goal was to ensure that France is no longer the host of money laundering and embezzled funds and to return these to the people to whom they belong.

After 10 years of proceedings and a course fraught with pitfalls – court rejections, endless appeals, intimidation attempts and defamation accusations –  the French courts will deliver their verdict on Friday 27 October in the case against “Teodorin” Nguema Obiang, vice-president of Equatorial Guinea who has allegedly amassed an immense fortune in France (mansions, luxury cars, art pieces…) with funds embezzled in his country.


For any press enquiries please contact

Anne Boisse
+33 1 86 95 36 01
+33 7 60 07 89 96
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Latest

Support Transparency International

The terrible consequences of police corruption in South Africa

What do we do when those mandated to protect us are serving other interests than public safety and security? In South Africa, police corruption leaves the public exposed to high rates of crime, and causes distrust of the police service while allowing crime to flourish.

Why do DRC citizens report such high levels of corruption?

People's experiences with corruption in the DRC are far worse than in most other African countries. Why is corruption so prevalent in the DRC, why is bribery so commonplace and why do two thirds of citizens feel powerless?

Is Mauritius at a tipping point in the fight against corruption?

According to the latest GCB for Africa, very few Mauritians who accessed public services, like health care and education, had to pay a bribe for those services. But given recent scandals, citizens still see certain groups and institutions as corrupt.

Countries must be more transparent when investigating transnational corruption

Supervisory and justice systems should be transparent and accountable so that the public can assess their performance.

Resilient institutions

Reducing corruption is an important component of the sustainable development agenda, and one that all state parties have an obligation to address. Although corruption is often thought of as a ‘third-world problem’, institutions in the Global North play an important role in the corruption cycle, and are therefore an essential part of the solutions.

In whose interest? Political integrity and corruption in Africa

What accounts for the wide disparity in peoples’ perceptions of the integrity of elected representatives in different countries? In this piece, we will to look at various forms of political corruption, how they manifest in African countries and what can be done to promote political integrity.

Cidadãos opinam sobre a corrupção em África

A décima edição do Barómetro Global de Corrupção (GCB) – África revela que embora a maioria das pessoas na África acreditem que os níveis de corrupção aumentaram no seu país, elas também se sentem otimistas, pois acreditam que os cidadãos podem fazer a diferença no combate à corrupção.

Les citoyens africains expriment leur opinion sur la corruption

La 10e édition du Baromètre mondial de la corruption – Afrique révèle que la plupart des Africains pensent que la corruption a augmenté dans leur pays, mais aussi que la majorité d’entre eux s’estiment capables, en tant que citoyens, de changer la donne dans la lutte contre la corruption.

Global Corruption Barometer - Africa 2019

The Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) – Africa reveals that more than half of all citizens surveyed in 35 African countries think corruption is getting worse in their country. 59 per cent of people think their government is doing badly at tackling corruption.

Citizens speak out about corruption in Africa

The Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) – Africa, reveals that while most people in Africa feel corruption increased in their country, a majority also feel optimistic that they can make a difference in the fight against corruption.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media