Faster seizure of money acquired via crime in Europe

4 October 2018

“Everyone understands that Europe can only win the fight against terror with robust cooperation and a cross-border approach. The security of our citizens is a field in which the EU can and must prove its added value.” MEP Helga Stevens is pleased with the new European rules that compel the member states to recognise and execute each other’s orders to freeze and seize money acquired via crime more quickly. This is intended to prevent criminals from being able to move their possessions around in the European Union. The ultimate goal is to shut down the financing of terror and crime.

Precious time

Confiscation is an efficient tool in the fight against organised crime and terror. Unfortunately, confiscation is still being used too infrequently in cross-border situations. “These rules are intended to change that. Among other things there will be a wider field of application with seizure at third parties. As for a request to freeze criminal monies, there will be a deadline of 48 hours for its recognition and an additional 48 hours for its execution. Thanks to these tight deadlines, we can save precious time,” Helga Stevens explains.

Robust security policy

Today, just 1.1% of money acquired via crime is seized. “It’s much too easy for criminals to squirrel away their ill-gotten gains throughout Europe today. The new European law is intended to ensure that criminal monies are frozen and confiscated more quickly and efficiently. That fits in perfectly with the further expansion of a robust European security policy, in which effective cross-border cooperation among the member states takes centre stage,” Helga Stevens concludes.

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