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May 9, 2021

Justice Ministry releases Romania’s national strategy on recovering proceeds of crime

On Thursday, the Ministry of Justice released Romania’s national strategy on the recovery of proceeds of crime designed to increase the efficiency of the National Agency for the Administration of Impounded Assets (ANABI) in recovering and capitalising on proceeds of crime.

Justice Minister Stelian Ion (photo) acknowledged at a news conference that the recovery of damages is not an “extraordinary” one at this moment.

“We need this strategy, because we need to know where we are and where we want to go. We need to recognise that the situation is not extraordinary in terms of recovering damages and we have a lot to do in that regard. We are in a situation where we have impounded assets that we have no place to store. This strategy comes up with investment measures. We have investment from the national budget as well, we also have requests under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), non-reimbursable funds will be accessed. The strategy also regards legislative changes that we will bring up to Parliament this autumn,” said Ion, according to Agerpres.

Senior official with the Ministry of Justice Mihai Pasca underlined the fact that ANABI is the central point of this strategy, an institution that must get involved from the very early stages of the criminal investigations.

“We are talking about the early capitalisation of some impounded assets that have a degree of perishability or whose value decreases over time. We are talking about the involvement of ANABI in the early stages of investigations, because, as part of joint investigation teams, ANABI can bring its contribution to cut the time and chances of the investigated persons to hide or shelter their proceeds of crime; it is important that ANABI has immediate access to information so that precautionary measures can be taken. We are talking about an integrated approach, with teams of specialists from several institutions with powers of identifying, impounding, takin over, appraising, managing and, finally, capitalising. The activity of ANABI must be efficient. We are not interested in it getting involved in the administration of assets whose costs may exceed what is finally recovered. Efficiency will be one of the keys to this strategy,” said Pasca.

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