In June 2019, the OECD and the National Tax Agency of Japan signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish the OECD Asia-Pacific Academy for Tax and Financial Crime Investigation in Wako, Japan.
The Asia-Pacific Academy will evolve to provide demand-driven training addressing the specific needs of countries in the Asia-Pacific region and building on experiences and best practices in tackling illicit financial flows. The curriculum will include broad-based courses on conducting and managing financial crime investigations (including digital forensics), as well as targeted courses on combatting anti-money laundering and VAT/GST fraud, and asset recovery. The first programme was delivered in May 2019 and focussed on VAT/GST Fraud.
The Academy will be housed at the Wako Campus of the National Tax College, part of the National Tax Agency of Japan.
The Asia-Pacific Academy Programmes are structured around a number of modules, which are taught through a combination of lectures, group discussions, practical exercises and course participant presentations. Please note these training programmes are only open to government officials.
Conducting Financial Investigations (Foundation Programme)
In this programme, participants will acquire a thorough understanding of the key skills required for conducting financial investigations, including the ability to follow the money through complex financial arrangements and how to effectively use sophisticated techniques to identify links between suspects and their illicit activities.
Managing Financial Investigations (Intermediate Programme)
This more advanced programme on managing financial investigations is primarily focused on participants with managerial or supervisory responsibility. The modules offered include leadership skills; effectively managing limited resources; international evidence; prosecutorial and investigative challenges; threats and risks assessments; illicit flows, including complex money laundering and the challenges of bribery and corruption cases; best practices and international initiatives.
VAT/GST Fraud (Specialty Programme)
This Specialty Programme on Value Added Tax (VAT) / Goods and Services Tax (GST) fraud is intended for investigators and/or managers with experience in the investigation and prosecution of VAT/GST frauds. The Programme explores the threats and risk assessment around various types of VAT/GST fraud, investigative techniques and their challenges and best practices, asset seizures and the money laundering issues associated with VAT/GST fraud, as well as prosecution challenges and best practices.
Asset Recovery: Freezing and Seizing Assets (Specialty Programme)
This Specialty Programme on Asset Recovery: Freezing and Seizing Assets is intended for investigators and/or managers with experience in freezing and seizing assets resulting from the investigation of tax crimes and other financial crimes. The Programme will provide an overview of the legal measures associated with asset recovery, explore the use of restraining orders, consider both conviction based and non-conviction based confiscation of assets from the proceeds of crime, and provide a snapshot of international asset recovery initiatives, as well as the challenges and best practices in this field.