The Council of Europe’s Conference of Parties of the Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism – otherwise known as the Warsaw Convention – released a report on 13 December. The report covers Article 6 of the Warsaw Convention, regarding the management of frozen or seized property in European states, and contains a review of and specific recommendations for each country.
The Warsaw Convention was opened for signature in 2005 and Georgia ratified the convention in 2014. The convention aims to facilitate international cooperation and co-operating across borders on investigating crime and the related proceeds from criminal activity.
Significantly, the report noted that Georgia has put measures in place to enable the management of frozen and seized assets as well as property of similar value, as outlined in the Criminal Procedure Code of Georgia.
Notably, the management of seized proceeds is carried out in different ways, depending on the property type. While cash and precious metals are kept in the safe boxes of the National Bank of Georgia, vehicles are stored in a secured parking lot. The report did note that “there is no specific procedure in place which would guide the management of assets in general.”
The report pointed out that there are a number of measures that Georgia needs to address.
To that end, it recommended that the Georgian authorities “should consider adopting guidance for active management of more complex types of property”. Moreover, Georgia should consider the establishment of a specialized team working with the management of frozen and seized assets.
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