Romania set up its Asset Recovery Office (ARO) within the Ministry of Justice (MJ) in 2011. ARO`s main role is to provide information to investigators and prosecutors on proceeds of crime that may become the object of freezing, seizure or confiscation orders. To this end the Office provides swift and comprehensive replies to requests issued by national authorities, EU member states and other foreign jurisdictions
With the establishment of the Asset Recovery Office (ARO), criminal asset recovery has become a priority objective of the national policies addressing serious crimes and corruption. The Ministry of Justice has promoted a series of legal instruments required by the practitioners in order to facilitate the efforts of the judiciary: the introduction of the extended confiscation and recognizing the possibility to sell seized assets during the criminal proceedings (before the rendering of the final court decision, also called interlocutory sales). The statistics of the judiciary regarding the value of seized assets and confiscations show as increase in the value of seized assets after the establishment of ARO from approximately EUR 88 million in 2010 to more than EUR 550 million.
Also, since its establishment, the ARO exchanged data and info in more than 765 cases involving 24 EU countries and 21 non-EU countries.
According to the peer review report on the Romanian ARO, elaborated by the European Commission and Europol in 2013, Romanian ARO has been acknowledged as one of the most active and highly specialized asset recovery agencies in Europe.
As of August 2016, the ARO functions have been taken over by a newly-created specialized agency under the Ministry of Justice, the National Agency for the Management of Seized Assets (ANABI) that acts as both Romania’s Asset Recovery Office and Asset Management Office. The latter functions include (a) deposit and conserve mobile assets seized during criminal proceedings; (b) sell certain assets seized during the criminal proceedings; (c) manage the national integrated electronic system of criminal assets; (d) support judicial authorities in making use of the best available practices regarding the identification and management of seized and confiscated assets; (e) co-ordinate, evaluate and monitor, at national level, the implementation of criminal asset recovery policies.
Romania, Bucharest, 17 Apolodor Street
Contact person: Cornel - Virgiliu Calinescu
Director general, Romania’s National Agency for the Management of Seized Assets