National Agency of Ukraine for finding, tracing and management of assets derived from corruption and other crimes (abbr. - Asset Recovery and Management Agency or ARMA) is a special governmental body, authorized to formulate and implement state policy in the sphere of tracing, finding of assets that are subject to seizure and that are aimed to be seized, as well as management of seized assets in criminal proceedings.
Internal and external preconditions for establishment of the National Agency are the following:
- to improve mechanisms for tracing and finding of assets which illegally withdrawn from Ukraine as a result of corruption and other crimes, and development of transparent and effective mechanisms for managing of seized assets;
- obligations within Visa Liberalization Action Plan, obligatory recommendations within OECD dialog, and other international obligations of Ukraine.
As for the competences, functions and legal status, National Agency is is unparalleled in Ukraine.
National Agency is similar to ARO/AMO successfully operating in the EU member states according to Council Decision 2007/845/JHA of 6 December 2007, and other EU legal acts.
Tasks for year 2017:
- institutional and operational capacity building of the National Agency to perform key functions of asset recovery and asset management,
- organizational setting-up, recruiting of professional staff and equipping with necessary working places,
- development and adoption of regulatory framework,
- ensuring of development of State Register of assets seized in criminal proceedings.
Medium-term objectives for years 2018-2020
- providing effective detection of assets illicitly withdrawn from Ukraine, cooperation with the Office of Prosecutor General of Ukraine, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau and other law-enforcement agencies, similar ARO/AMO offices, specialized international organizations;
- formulation and implementation of state policy in finding and tracing of assets to be seized in criminal proceedings and / or management of assets seized or confiscated in criminal proceedings.
Tasks to implement medium-term objectives:
- institutional and functional capacities building of the National Agency for finding, tracing and management of assets derived from corruption and other crimes, including the creation of State Register of assets to implements state policy of seizure, confiscation and asset management (2017-2018)
- introduction of asset management system and preservation of assets value in favor of state (2017-2019);
- ensuring cooperation with international organizations and ARO/AMO offices to collect information, evidence and assets tracking in Ukraine and abroad, as well as their returning (2017-2018);
- further improvement of legislation to implement:
> the requirements of UNCAC, FATF;
> best practices in the field of finding and tracing of assets to be seized in criminal proceedings, and management of assets seized in criminal proceedings;
> tools preventing the loss of assets be seized in criminal proceedings,
>instruments of enforcement of illegal and unjustified assets in favor of state,
- effective communication with mass media and the public about ARMA’s achievements and challenges (2017-2020).
THE MAIN AREAS OF ACTIVITIES
1. Asset finding and tracing area.
National Agency is responsible for finding (activity aimed at establishing the fact of existence) and tracing (activity aimed at determination the location) of assets – property that are subject to seizure in criminal proceedings.
National Agency is entitled to support criminal investigation cases by means of:
- taking measures on tracing and finding of assets upon requests of the investigators, detectives, pre-trial investigation authorities, prosecutor's office and courts and cooperate with such authorities for the purpose of seizure and confiscation of such assets;
- ensuring pre-MLA international cooperation with relevant authorities of foreign states, international organizations dealing in this sphere by taking measures on tracing and finding of assets as well as requesting them on asset finding and tracing activities;
- filing claims with a court to find invalid regulatory legal acts and individual decisions, contracts issued/made in violation of the requirements and limitations set forth in legislation;
- taking part in representation of the State of Ukraine in foreign jurisdictional bodies in cases related to return of assets derived from corruption and other crimes.
2. Asset Management area.
Executing court decisions, National Agency is entitled for management of assets seized or confiscated in criminal proceedings in order to preserve or maintain economic value of the assets by:
- transferring into management using asset management agreement;
- disposal – sale with further cash disposal in state banking system temporary – till the end of the criminal proceedings.
3. State policy development area.
National Agency is authorized to formulate and implement state policy in the sphere of tracing, finding and management of assets by:
- drafting proposals for formulation and implementation of the state policy (draft laws, bylaws, binding regulatory legal acts of the Agency);
- concluding multi-agency international agreements on cooperation with authorities of foreign states the competence of which includes the issues concerning finding, tracing and management of assets derived from corruption and other crimes;
- providing clarifications, methodological and advisory assistance to investigators, detectives, prosecutors and judges with regard to the issues of finding, tracing, evaluation and management of assets;
- developing and keeping of the Unified State Register of Assets Seized in Criminal Proceedings, which shall contain, for instance, information on assets, which have been seized in criminal proceedings, court decision on seizure and/or cancellation of seizure, number of criminal proceedings in the Unified Register of Pre-Trial Investigations and other relevant information.