Tracing and identifying criminal assets

The faster the tracing of assets derived from crime is, the more effective the confiscation and recovery of criminal profits can be. National Asset Recovery Offices (AROs) help in depriving criminals from their criminal profits. They identify assets that have been illegally acquired on their territories and facilitate the exchanges of relevant information at European level. Following the Decision requiring EU States to set up these National Asset Recovery Offices , the Commission launched an informal Platform to further enhance their EU-level cooperation on and coordination of exchanges of information and best practices. A recent Commission report showed that AROs are an important tool for going after criminals' money. While a few EU States have not yet established such an Office, cooperation between the existing members of the network is generally positive. However, the Offices are facing a number of common challenges, in particular regarding their capacity to access relevant financial information.