U.S. and South African Government Entities Partner to Host Asset Forfeiture Workshop

Mr. Harry Wilson, from the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria, delivering welcome remarks
Mr. Harry Wilson, from the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria, delivering welcome remarks

The United States Department of Justice (USDOJ), in partnership with the South African National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), conducted an asset forfeiture workshop for members of the South African Police Service Directorate of Priority Crimes Investigations Asset Forfeiture Division.  The workshop was held at the U.S. Consulate in Johannesburg from June 24 – 27, 2014.  The four day instructor-led training workshop was sponsored by the United States Secret Service and structured to impart the best asset forfeiture practices that are currently being employed in the United States to disrupt criminal enterprises constructed through unlawful activity.  During the workshop, 55 SAPS and 10 NPA participants learned about conducting an in-depth investigation and applying financial techniques and strategies to expand the scope of a criminal investigation through identifying and tracking assets for seizure and for forfeiture.

Participants at the Asset Forfeiture Workshop
Participants at the Asset Forfeiture Workshop

The USDOJ Asset Forfeiture Program encompasses the seizure and forfeiture of assets that represent the proceeds of, or were used to facilitate federal crimes. The primary mission of the program is to employ asset forfeiture powers in a manner that enhances public safety and security. This is accomplished by removing the proceeds of crime and other assets relied upon by criminals and their associates to perpetuate their criminal activity against our societies. Asset forfeiture has the power to disrupt or dismantle criminal organizations that would otherwise continue to function if we only convicted and incarcerated specific individuals.  Further, asset forfeiture programs are strengthened when nations effectively partner to disrupt transnational syndicates who commit crimes outside the borders of local law enforcement jurisdictions.