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BAMIN Annual General Meeting 2020

The BAMIN (Balkan Asset Management Interagency Network) Annual General Meeting for 2020 was held today 26th of November. The AGM saw the participation of Sixteen Jurisdictions representing Asset Management Offices as well as Asset Recovery Offices, in addition to the BAMIN Secretariat and the OSCE who provided financial support to deliver the meeting.

The meeting was opened by Ms Anica Vucekovic from the Property Administration of Montenegro, who is currently holding the BAMIN Presidency. Ms. Vucekovic highlighted the effort taken in 2020 to keep the network active, despite the COVID19 pandemic and expressed her gratitude to all BAMIN colleagues for the continuous collaboration. Opening remarks were also provided by Ms. Denise Mazzolani, representing the OSCE in the framework of the project “Strengthening the fight against transnational organized crime in South-Eastern Europe through improved regional co-operation in asset seizure, confiscation, management and re-use”. Ms. Mazzolani has also highlighted the efforts taken by the BAMIN Secretariat and the Members of the network in order to keep the network active and further facilitate the exchange of best practices and information.

Ms. Jill Thomas, member of the BAMIN Secretariat, completed the opening remarks by providing all participants with an overview on the main activities delivered during 2020 as well as an update on BAMIN Membership and the BAMIN Presidency. The network now includes 15 Jurisdictions, doubling its number since 2017.

Albania will host the BAMIN Presidency for 2021 while the discussion and confirmation of Croatia for the Presidency in 2022 will be formalised during the upcoming Steering Group Meeting.

For the first time, the AGM was delivered online. The BAMIN Secretariat asked the Members and participants to provide an update from the previous AGM focusing on:

•          Legal and structural changes to your asset management systems (new laws adopted, new agencies created or planned);

•          Successful stories of asset management;

•          Considering the current situation, how has COVID19 had an impact on your daily

From the presentations, it emerged that several Jurisdictions are currently undergoing, or have gone, through legal and structural changes within their AMO with an overall improvement of their capacity to manage seized and confiscated assets. Another common outcome of the represented Asset Management Offices was a significant improvement since their establishment both in terms of capacity and volume of the sale of confiscated assets, in some cases this was highlighted as an improvement generated by the BAMIN activities. Furthermore, the exchange of successful stories will further stimulate new potential members to join the network, as highlighted by Greece who is now in the process of establishing an Asset Management Office and has expressed a strong interest in further joining future events of the network.

BAMIN is supporting Asset Management Offices and law enforcement agencies to strengthen the effective implementation of knowledge exchange, cooperation and networking initiatives at regional level, with a focus on the effective management of sequestrated and confiscated assets.

Lastly, another crucial aspect was highlighted in the closing remarks by Ms Iris Pilika from the OSCE; Ms Pilika reinforced the importance of the Social Reuse of assets. Under the Albania Presidency in 2021, BAMIN will promote effective social-reuse throughout its members.