The announcement of £625,000 enables Strathclyde, Lothian and Borders and Tayside Police forces to continue to bolster the capacity within their own teams of financial investigators, supporting 17 posts across the three forces until 2014.
Each force first received funding from the Scottish Government in January 2010 at the outset of a two-year pilot.
The Serious Organised Crime Strategy, which was published in June 2009, sets out under its Disrupt strand a specific commitment to improve the seizure of assets from criminals and the confiscation of their profits by ‘using some of the money seized from criminals to boost financial investigations’.
Mr MacAskill said: “The work of the financial investigators, such as the team here at Tayside, cuts right to the core of serious organised crime in Scotland. We know that criminals and Mr Bigs are using ever more sophisticated ways to evade justice, which is why we are backing police to have dedicated teams in place with a focus on financial investigation, dovetailing with wider police investigations into other forms of criminality.
“These financial investigators may be based in Strathclyde, Lothian and Borders and Tayside, but the impact of their work will reach right around Scotland and beyond, and is aimed at making our communities safer from organised crime.”