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Asset Tracing

KCS Group Europe

The Requirement

Bad actors often use concealment of assets, through shell companies, offshore properties, and proxy networks, to either reduce their tax bill or to avoid having to make restitution against debts or court orders. Asset tracing is therefore a key element of the judicial process, either as the forerunner of greater action to be taken against the target entities, or as the ultimate goal itself. However, as with all intelligence work, it must be carried out properly.

The Strategy

What is needed, therefore, is an aggressive approach to locating and identifying assets within the framework of the law, but with sufficient weight and agility to meet tight deadlines, and enough capability to ensure that enquiries touching on sensitive individuals (who will typically be Politically Exposed Persons or connected to those who are) within difficult jurisdictions are both possible – and do not give the game away. This is the service that KCS Group offers: one of breadth and depth in asset tracing, harnessing a variety of methodologies that can cope with the challenging practical requirements. As corporate intelligence specialists, KCS Group has the facility to operate in all relevant jurisdictions as may be required, with the breadth to look for assets of any type in an offering that is inherently wider in scope than what is possible through traditional in-house capabilities. Also, there is depth of investigation, through use of an extensive source base of human and cyber-led intelligence gathering, with the capability to penetrate networks of shell companies or anonymised properties, and to follow the paper trail to provide hard evidence. 

The Benefit

KCS Group has conducted multiple asset traces worldwide for some of the most significant legal firms and their ultimate Clients. An extensive enquiry into assets held by two Ukrainian oligarchs, envisaged by the Client to be solely concerning property interests in Ukraine and Russia, resulted in jurisdictions as far apart as the BVI and Kazakhstan being interrogated in terms of property, bank accounts and business entities, and a complex web of shell companies and ‘puppets’ to disguise the true range of interests being identified. These were not simple investigations and would not have met with the success the Clients needed through traditional means only. 

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