Judicial oversight of the financial investigation of drug related crime

From November 9 until 11, 2016, Regional Dialogue conducted a three day seminar in Charvaq with the title: »Judicial and procedural aspects of the fight against financial crime and money laundering in the field of drug trafficking: a review of international experience«. RD brought four international subject matter experts: Daniel Linhart, legal specialist from USA, Jody Young, Assistant United States Attorney, USA, Blair Hussey, financial investigator from Canada and Andrea Grote, Project Manager from ABA ROLI, USA. The seminar was conducted in cooperation with national partners: Research Center under the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan, General Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Uzbekistan and Chamber of Advocates of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The national and international partners addressed a wide range of topics: - Drug related crimes as a threat to regional stability: mechanisms for international cooperation in the context of ensuring the quality and timeliness of investigation of criminal cases in this category; Transnational enforcement efforts; Following the money – including the methods of search, seizure and legal framework for such measures; Drug trafficking and links to other threats (such as terrorism); part of the focus was also devoted to the use of digital technology in criminal activities, and cyber-crime related to money laundering in drug related criminal activities; Plea bargain as useful instrument of drug related cases was discussed, reviewing US judicial practices both on state and federal levels, as well as specific implications for prosecution and defense side when plea bargain is negotiated. Participants also reviewed a follow up report of the recent regional trip to Brownsville, Texas and discussed similarities of the USA/Mexico border and those of the Central Asian states bordering with Afghanistan - the biggest global producer and exporter of opium - related drugs (heroin).

This presents specific challenges for judicial branch and for law enforcement agencies. Part of discussions also focused on special aspects of possible preventive techniques and approaches, and different early warning mechanisms in confronting the threats of globalized criminal activities.

The seminar was carried out in a very interactive manner, both in plenary framework and in breakout groups discussions.

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