United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Kosovo and the Association of Certified Accountants and Auditors in Kosovo (SCAAK) awarded 43 public officials who have finished a year-long course in forensic accounting to become certified fraud examiners.

The course has contributed to advancing the capabilities of investigators who deal with financial crime and corruption cases. It involved prosecutors, officials from the Kosovo Police, the Anti-Corruption Agency, the Financial Intelligence Unit, the Tax Administration and Customs, as well as investigative journalists. The course was developed jointly by UNDP and SCAAK and was the first of its kind in Kosovo.

Welcoming remarks were held by Mr. Patrick Etienne, Director of the Swiss Development Cooperation Office (SDC), Mr. Anders Kragh Bingen, from the Danish International Development Assistance (DANIDA), Ms. Valbona Bogujevci, UNDP Assistant Resident Representative and Ms. Ardiana Bunjaku, Executive Director of SCAAK.

Keynote speeches were delivered by Mr. Aleksandër Lumezi, Chief Prosecutor, Mr. Rashit Qalaj, Director of the Police, Mr. Shaip Havolli, Director of the Anti-corruption Agency, Ms. Behar Xhema, Deputy Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit, Mr. Ilir Murtezaj, Director of the Tax Administration, and Mr. Bahri Berisha, Director of the Customs Administration.

Mr. Patrick Etienne, Director at Swiss Development Agency (SDA), urged all the heads of institutions to maximize the use of the newly developed in-house expertise to further Kosovo’s success rates in prosecuting corruption and recovering stolen assets.

Ms. Valbona Bogujevci, Assistant Resident Representative at UNDP, said that the “licensed fraud examiners will greatly speed up the pace of financial crime investigations and ensure a higher number of successful convictions of corruption cases, and ultimately the return of stolen assets. Assets that can be used to refurbish schools and clinics instead of the lavish lifestyles of corrupt individuals. Fraud examination and forensic accounting are cutting edge tools used globally in uncovering financial crime. I am extremely pleased to say that we have accomplished bringing these tools for the first time ever in Kosovo.”

Mr. Aleksandër Lumezi, Chief Prosecutor, pointed out that the fight against financial crime is a very important element in the road towards European integration.  “This road requires that all officials who violate the law will be prosecuted regardless of their role and power in society. Therefore, the certification of these officials will have a very important role in the successfully investigating and prosecuting acts of financial crime where expertise and professional skills are required, due to the complexity of these forms of crime," said the Chief Prosecutor.

Lirim Dervisholli, investigator from the Anti-Corruption Police Unit and a participant of the course, said the following about his experience: “As Financial Forensic Experts, we have acquired unique knowledge and skills through this program. Now, we are able to apply new methods and techniques in detecting, resolving and documenting financial crimes while pursuing the described criminal proceedings.”

The course, that lasted 11 months during which 170 classes and 2 examinations were conducted, was provided through UNDP’s Support to Anti-Corruption Efforts in Kosovo Project (SAEK II) project, funded by SDC and DANIDA.

For more information, please contact:

Burbuqe Dobranja, UNDP Communications Associate

Phone: (038) 249 066 ext. 410; mobile: 049 720 800; e-mail: burbuqe.dobranja@undp.org

Danijela Mitić, UNDP Communication Associate

Phone: (038) 249 066 ext. 412; mobile: 049 720 824; e-mail: danijela.mitic@undp.org

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