Russian Prosecutor General's Office will deal with illegal assets of Russians abroad

The office will receive new powers in the near future.
The Prosecutor General's Office will become an authorized body to identify and return assets from foreign jurisdictions that Russians have received through corruption. This deputy prosecutor Alexander Buksman said at a meeting of the interstate council on counteracting corruption in Kazan. According to him, the supervisory agency will also be responsible for identifying accounts held by Russians in foreign banks and other foreign financial instruments.

The Prosecutor General's Office has already prepared the relevant documents, Buksman said: "There is an interdepartmental working group under the Prosecutor General's Office, where we discussed all these projects, and they are highly prepared."

Formally, the coordination of law enforcement actions in the fight against corruption is now one of the functions of the prosecutor's office. In addition, the agency is responsible for monitoring the compliance of officials' expenses with their incomes (the norm that appeared in the national legislation in 2013 implies confiscation of property, the legality of which the official could not confirm). To date, the courts have already satisfied 30 suits to officials about confiscation of state property in total for 2.2 billion rubles.

In the first half of 2017, prosecutors achieved dismissal due to a loss of confidence in 377 officials for violations such as concealing income or expenses, failure to take measures to resolve conflicts of interest or engage in entrepreneurial activities. For comparison: for the whole last year, 383 people were fired. The issue of applying such a disciplinary measure becomes especially relevant, since from next year there should appear a public register of persons dismissed for corruption, Buksman recalled.

Deputy Director of Transparency International-I Ilya Shumanov calls the decision to give the Prosecutor General's Office new powers of logical: in principle, it is impossible to conduct work on the return of assets without the appointment of an authorized body, he notes. According to him, the Prosecutor General's Office alone has the necessary tools and techniques for interaction with colleagues, although not at the level that it would be desirable, but it is even lower for other departments.