Restitution is an important pillar of Swiss policy on combating illicitly acquired assets. To date, Switzerland has returned more than USD two billion in illicitly acquired assets of politically exposed persons (PEPs).  

A successful restitution requires a solid partnership between the requesting state and Switzerland. When returning the funds, the principles of transparency and accountability should be respected and the returned assets should be employed in order to improve the living conditions of the population of the country of origin. In addition, the restituted funds might contribute to enforce the rule of law in the country of origin and with that to avoid impunity. It is in Switzerland’s interest to ensure that the restituted funds do not flow back into corrupt channels.

Solution on a case-by-case basis

Based on its experience, Switzerland is convinced that on the basis of a constructive dialogue between the requesting and the requested state, an appropriate solution can be found in each particular case. The solution needs to meet national and international expectations and be in line with the ideas put forward by the governments concerned. In doing so in the past, various programmes in the areas of health, education and good governance could be funded. When choosing such projects, inputs of the civil society in the country of origin are also taken into account. The experience acquired shows that there is no generally applicable solution and the mechanism of the restitution needs to be chosen on a case-by-case basis (no "one-size-fits-all" solution).

Last update 19.01.2024


Asset Recovery

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