US-Swiss Dialogue: Making Sure Crime Doesn’t Pay – Repatriating the Proceeds of Corrupt Regimes

Toppling corrupt kleptocrats is only part of the struggle: how do you make sure their ill-gotten gains are returned to help rebuild their countries? On November 26, the Center for Global Affairs, in partnership with the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York, held a discussion on the challenges of seizing assets from corrupt regimes and returning them to their rightful owners. CGA Academic Chair Prof. Mark Galeotti moderated a wide-ranging and well-attended discussion with Ambassador Valentin Zellweger, Head of the Directorate of Public International Law at Switzerland’s Federal Department of International Law at Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. Ambassador Zellweger spoke about Switzerland’s leading experience in asset recovery, the program which has seen $1.7 billion in misappropriated funds returned to the countries from which it was stolen and the prospects for the future, especially in light of the Arab Spring and the downfall of authoritarian regimes in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.