Recommendation 38: Mutual legal assistance: freezing and confiscation

Countries should ensure that they have the authority to take expeditious action in response to requests by foreign countries to identify, freeze, seize and confiscate property laundered; proceeds from money laundering, predicate offences and terrorist financing; instrumentalities used in, or intended for use in, the commission of these offences; or property of corresponding value. This authority should include being able to respond to requests made on the basis of non-conviction-based confiscation proceedings and related provisional measures, unless this is inconsistent with fundamental principles of their domestic law. Countries should also have effective mechanisms for managing such property, instrumentalities or property of corresponding value, and arrangements for coordinating seizure and confiscation proceedings, which should include the sharing of confiscated assets.


1. Countries should consider establishing an asset forfeiture fund into which all, or a portion of, confiscated property will be deposited for law enforcement, health, education, or other appropriate purposes. Countries should take such measures as may be necessary to enable them to share among or between other countries confiscated property, in particular, when confiscation is directly or indirectly a result of coordinated law enforcement actions.

2. With regard to requests for cooperation made on the basis of non-conviction based confiscation proceedings, countries need not have the authority to act on the basis of all such requests, but should be able to do so, at a minimum in circumstances when a perpetrator is unavailable by reason of death, flight, absence, or the perpetrator is unknown.