This brief analysis of the Proposed Proceeds of Crime Legislative and Policy Framework in Sri Lanka highlights the need for a comprehensive law on the recovery of stolen assets and key elements that need to be incorporated in to such law on proceeds of crime. It also notes the importance of wider stakeholder dialogue prior to the enactment of the law, to ensure human rights concerns are adequately addressed preventing loopholes that could lead to the misuse of the law.
This analytical brief seeks to analyse the existing law in Sri Lanka, pertaining to the recovery of stolen assets, highlighting the gaps therein to effectively recover such proceeds of crime. Whilst there are several laws that address freezing, seizure and confiscation of these stolen assets in domestic cases, Sri Lanka lacks a comprehensive mechanism that can ensure the effective confiscation, return and subsequent management of these proceeds of crime, which have been removed from Sri Lanka and are hidden in offshore centres. The recently drafted Policy and Legislative Framework of the proposed Proceeds of Crime Act (the Policy) seeks to provide a mechanism for such return and management of recovered assets. This Policy will be analysed, highlighting key areas that should be considered when drafting and debating any future Proceeds of Crime Bill.