Switzerland’s proactive approach
Since the fall of Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, Switzerland has steadily refined its systems for dealing with the proceeds of corruption. Today, it plays a major role in international efforts to combat corruption and is a pioneer in the recovery and restitution of illicit assets.
- Legal framework and partnerships
Switzerland has a comprehensive set of national, bilateral and multilateral legal instruments which apply to illicitly acquired assets held by politically exposed persons. In 2014, the government adopted a strategy on the freezing, confiscation and return of illicitly acquired assets of politically exposed persons. The strategy, which addresses the various administrative units involved in such cases, is intended to ensure that all national and international actors work together to repatriate the assets as quickly as possible.
At the UN and World Bank and in cooperation with the G7 countries, Switzerland is working at the international level to intensify cooperation between financial centres and countries of origin. Another important instrument, the Federal Act on the Freezing and the Restitution of Illicit Assets Held by Foreign Politically Exposed Persons, came into effect on 1 July 2016, allowing Switzerland to prevent the misuse of its financial centre.
- Trust, dialogue and transparency
The successful restitution of illicitly acquired assets is only possible in the context of a partnership based on mutual trust and regular dialogue. The Swiss government works closely with the states concerned to establish appropriate procedures and control mechanisms. As each case is different, tailored solutions are found for each situation. Switzerland ensures transparency in the repatriation of assets so that they will be used to benefit the local communities deprived of precious public resources through acts of corruption and the misappropriation of funds.