We were engaged to conduct an asset trace against the government of an Eastern European country for assets held outside the EU, but including the UK.

The brief was to focus on assets owned by the state that were used for commercial purposes, but that this could include assets of state-owned enterprises if we could evidence a very high degree of state control over the entity.

In addition to tangible commercial assets (ships, planes, real estate etc.), we also searched for receivables owed to the government, i.e. interest/principal payments on sovereign bonds, bank accounts used for commercial purposes and judgments/awards owed to the state.

Through OSINT and closed source enquiries, we were able to identify full or partial state ownership of more than two hundred companies. We broke these down by asset class, percentage of ownership, jurisdiction and likelihood of enforceability. This enabled us to produce a short list of target entities which we believed merited further investigation. We shared our findings with the client to confirm that they agreed with our methodology and then delved deeper into the assets of interest. Having done so, we were able to provide our client with actionable intelligence to pursue asset recovery; including the valuation and ownership certificate for a U.S. based property.