Recommendation 30: Responsibilities of law enforcement and investigative authorities

Countries should ensure that designated law enforcement authorities have responsibility for money laundering and terrorist financing investigations within the framework of national AML/CFT policies. At least in all cases related to major proceeds-generating offences, these designated law enforcement authorities should develop a pro-active parallel financial investigation when pursuing money laundering, associated predicate offences and terrorist financing. This should include cases where the associated predicate offence occurs outside their jurisdictions. Countries should ensure that competent authorities have responsibility for expeditiously identifying, tracing and initiating actions to freeze and seize property that is, or may become, subject to confiscation, or is suspected of being proceeds of crime. Countries should also make use, when necessary, of permanent or temporary multi-disciplinary groups specialised in financial or asset investigations. Countries should ensure that, when necessary, cooperative investigations with appropriate competent authorities in other countries take place.



1. There should be designated law enforcement authorities that have responsibility for ensuring that money laundering, predicate offences and terrorist financing are properly investigated through the conduct of a financial investigation. Countries should also designate one or more competent authorities to identify, trace, and initiate freezing and seizing of property that is, or may become, subject to confiscation.

2. A ‘financial investigation’ means an enquiry into the financial affairs related to a criminal activity, with a view to:

∎ identifying the extent of criminal networks and/or the scale of criminality;

∎ identifying and tracing the proceeds of crime, terrorist funds or any other assets that are, or may become, subject to confiscation; and

∎ developing evidence which can be used in criminal proceedings.

3. A ‘parallel financial investigation’ refers to conducting a financial investigation alongside, or in the context of, a (traditional) criminal investigation into money laundering, terrorist financing and/or predicate offence(s). Law enforcement investigators of predicate offences should either be authorised to pursue the investigation of any related money laundering and terrorist financing offences during a parallel investigation, or be able to refer the case to another agency to follow up with such investigations.

4. Countries should consider taking measures, including legislative ones, at the national level, to allow their competent authorities investigating money laundering and terrorist financing cases to postpone or waive the arrest of suspected persons and/or the seizure of the money, for the purpose of identifying persons involved in such activities or for evidence gathering. Without such measures the use of procedures such as controlled deliveries and undercover operations are precluded.

5. Recommendation 30 also applies to those competent authorities, which are not law enforcement authorities, per se, but which have the responsibility for pursuing financial investigations of predicate offences, to the extent that these competent authorities are exercising functions covered under Recommendation 30.

6. Anti-corruption enforcement authorities with enforcement powers may be designated to investigate money laundering and terrorist financing offences arising from, or related to, corruption offences under Recommendation 30, and these authorities should also have sufficient powers to identify, trace, and initiate freezing and seizing of assets.

7. The range of law enforcement agencies and other competent authorities mentioned above should be taken into account when countries make use of multi-disciplinary groups in financial investigations.

8. Law enforcement authorities and prosecutorial authorities should have adequate financial, human and technical resources. Countries should have in place processes to ensure that the staff of these authorities maintain high professional standards, including standards concerning confidentiality, and should be of high integrity and be appropriately skilled.