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Financial investigation

Financial investigations and financial criminal analyses are crucial for effectively responding to modern criminal threats. Investigations into financial matters of targeted persons or legal entities can help in establishing the proof of criminal activities by identifying the links between where the money comes from, where it is stored or deposited and who receives it and when.

Developing parallel financial investigations in all serious crime cases

Despite the implementation of legislation related to money laundering and recovery of criminal proceeds, the results in terms of convictions and confiscations are unsatisfactory. Efficient financial investigations require equipping more law enforcement investigators and analysts with financial investigation and financial criminal analysis skills, proper IT tools and the means to access all necessary information. The Commission intends to ensure that financial investigations and financial criminal analyses become a standard part of all serious crime investigations.

Enhancing financial investigation capacities

EU States have agreed to make financial investigations a fundamental component of all counter-terrorism investigations (EU revised Strategy on Terrorist Financing ). Discussions on the implementation of some international agreements (e.g. the UN Convention against Corruption, the Council of Europe Medicrime Convention or the G8 action plan on cocaine maritime routes) also stress the need to enhance financial investigations and financial criminal analyses in all phases of a criminal investigation and prosecution.

In 2008, a study on EU States' practices in the field of confiscation of criminal assets indicated that the low development of financial investigations and financial criminal analyses constitute a real obstacle to confiscation and asset recovery.

Together with the Council and Europol, the Commission is participating in a series of peer-based missions in all EU States to assess their financial investigation capacities (5th mutual evaluation round in the field of cooperation on criminal matters). The outcomes will be used to define the need for further action.

Towards an EU strategy on financial investigation

Practice shows that cooperation in financial crime cases or in financial investigations is increasingly complex and difficult. The success of such specialised investigations is at the heart of the fight against modern criminal threats, which are increasingly intertwined in the licit economy.

Additional tools


  • A communication on a European Strategy for financial investigation and financial and criminal analysis is planned for 2012.


Terrorist financing

The provision or collection of funds, by any means, directly or indirectly, with the intention that they should be ...



In the absence of a generally accepted definition under international law, “terrorism” can be defined as ...


Money laundering

The attempt to conceal or disguise the ownership or source of the proceeds of criminal activity and to integrate ...


Criminal proceeds

Any economic advantage from criminal offences. It may consist of any form of property, whether corporeal or ...



A penalty or measure, ordered by a court following proceedings in relation to a criminal offence or criminal offences ...