Patna : Adhering to its commitment for not letting its land be used any more as Safe Haven for illicit money and corrupt officers, the United States has mooted Democracies Against Safe Havens initiative (DASH), encouraging partner countries to deny safe haven to corrupt officials and their dirty money.

DASH, a combined diplomatic and foreign assistance was announced in 2021 by the White House during the Summit for Democracy. DASH initiative will move forward for joint sanctions with partners having relevant authorities, informed Senior Sanctions Coordinator for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs for the US Department of State Joshua Mater in a recently concluded Webinar on holding corrupt actors accountable organised by the Foreign Press Centre, Washington DC.

 The US President and the Secretary of State‚Äôs, were committed to promote accountability in the issues involving corruption.

Mary Butler, Chief of the International Unit of the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section of the US Department of Justice said that to make the United States who too addressed the Webinar said that the beneficial ownership disclosure legislation is expanded in US to make US a less hospitable Safe Haven for corruption purposes.  Under it the offences can be exposed and action can be initiated. 

Mary Butler said that trial of corruption cases in US was fast and maintain timetable whereas inn many other countries it is time consuming  because many decisions can be appealed and those appeals take significant time. 

At the time of holding corrupt actors accountable, focus is on both, the domestic side and on those involved in foreign corruption.  While handling case of foreign corruption, the government acts in accordance with Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Department of Justices Kleptocracy asset recovery initiative.

US Money Laundering laws are used for recovery through Criminal Prosecution . 

Since establishment of Kleptocracy initiative in 2010, the US Department targeted and restrained or forfeited approximately $3.4 billion in assets allegedly linked to foreign corruption.

Using these laws, the US, in some of the countries recovered and assisted in recovering $1.7 billion in assets and as of now repatriated approximately $1.6 billion of those assets.

For getting more evidence basedbinformation, the US Department of Treasury has created Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Reward Programme by which people on concrete information leading to restraint forfeiture or return of assets would get an incentive that should 
not exceed $5 million.

Joshua Mater, Senior Sanctions Coordinator for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs for the US Department of State while deliberating over Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability act allowing to target corrupt actors,  said that sanctions are a critical tool of foreign policy to address corruption, serious human rights, abuse and other malign behaviour. 

Giving details he said that the United States has designated a total of 415 individuals and entities under the GloMag Sanctions Programme since its inception in December 2017 of which 278 are related to 
corruption. 

Referring to the Global Magnitsky Sanctions (GloMag), Joshua Mater said that the United States maintain strong partnerships  with allies who have GloMag, Magnitsky-like sanctions programmes to counter corruption. He said that the European Union which does not have a specific corruption related sanctions programme only is a key partners in countering serious human rights abuses. 

Speaking about Kimberley Process certification Scheme protecting conflict diamonds (blood diamonds) of which Russia and Ukraine were members and possible sanctions, Joshua Mater admitted that making any decision would be challenging as the Kimberley Process is a multi-lateral body with Russia as its member.

Mary Butler , on the issue however said that if diamonds are being mined or sold violating laws could be prosecuted in the United States like money laundering. US can take action against the profits that are earned through the sales, whether by Ukrainians, Russians or others, she 
maintained.