Feb 27 2014


NAPLES – Transparency International Italy (TI -It), in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce of Naples, presents today, February 27th, the report ILLICIT ASSETS RECOVERY IN ITALY – Enhancing Integrity and Effectiveness of Illegal Asset Confiscation at the Chamber of Commerce in Naples.

The report is the result of a research carried out within the European project “Enhancing Integrity and Effectiveness of Illegal Asset Confiscation – European Approaches” ( www.confiscation.eu), commissioned and funded by the European Commission. Transparency International Italy participates in the project along with two other national chapters of Transparency International: Transparency International Romania and Bulgaria. The cooperation among European partners is even more important now in light of the resolution adopted by the European Parliament two days ago in order to facilitate the confiscation proceedings and the cooperation among national authorities of EU Member States.

The Italian report digs into our illicit assets confiscation system, through a detailed analysis of the legislation, interviews and statistics. It investigates the weaknesses of the system and also promotes practical recommendations.

Considering the urgency of fighting corruption in Italy, confiscation of assets coming from illegal activities, such as corruption, becomes crucial, because it has both a punitive and preventive value. “Italian legislation reflects this duality, which is almost a unique worldwide: Italy has in fact both a criminal and preventive system of confiscation”- researchers Chiara Putaturo and Giorgio Fraschini say – “The strong precautionary power of confiscation lies mainly in the re-use of assets for social purposes. If properly implemented , it has a high educational and exemplary value for the entire community”.

Maria Teresa Brassiolo, Past President of Transparency International Italy, highlights one of the main risks: “Unfortunately, most confiscated companies are not efficiently managed. This must to be solved immediately. The weakness or the closure of legal businesses can create a strong negative image of a context where criminal organisations can run their activities and create jobs, hiding the dark side of illegality, such as tax evasion, labour and insurance violations. Criminals, at the same time benefit, without paying, from infrastructure , schools, hospitals, which are finanaced by citizens and legal firms”.

TI-It offers a list of recommendations:

  • A consolidated act of law on confiscation
  • Speeding up judicial and assignment procedures
  • Strengthening of the National Agency for the administration and the assignment of the goods seized and confiscated from criminal organizations
  • Computerising the system
  • Immediate availability of funds recovered through the sale of movable assets to support the effective management of immovable assets and companies
  • allocation and efficient use of resources of the Justice Unique Fund for the management of seized companies, too
  • Involvement of expert with managerial skills
  • Implementation of the support units at the Prefectures
  • Establishment of a monitoring system

The report will be presented in Naples under the initiative of Dr. Luigi Maria Rocca, because of the strong focus on the issue in Campania region, where skilled professionals are present within the Judiciary, the professions, academia, businesses and associations. Transparency International Italy report shows how the University Suor Orsola Benincasa University was among the first Italian institutions to activate a postgraduate course university dedicated to the management of confiscated goods. Rocca claims : “This event will be the starting point in our city of a working table to reform the law on precautionary measures and fight against crime”, an idea that has already collected the membership of Transparency International Italy, University Suor Orsola Benincasa, Matching Energies Foundation, the Association Sos Impresa – Rete per la legalità, several professionals, academics and magistrates”.

“The specific topic of confiscation of illicit assets cannot be relegated to the single cases of application of the measure and the related criminal cases, but it has a major impact on our economic and social fabric”, as stated by Maurizio Maddaloni, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Naples, who adds: “The distortion of the market generates domino effect with immediate consequences for our businesses. I think to the difficulties to access to credit for small businesses and to the enormous possibilities of “alternative funding ” provided by organised crime, and to the huge flux, increasing of money that organisations are ready to re-invest”. Maddaloni thinks that “the contrast of illegal activities is a precondition to restart the territory: there is no development and no competitiveness without safety and compliance with rules”.