The new EU Directive on Freezing and Confiscation of Instrumentalities and Proceeds of Crime in the EU came into force this week. The key aim of the directive is to create a common set of minimum rules for the detection, tracing and confiscation of proceeds of crime across the EU. The measure has to be implemented into the national law of Participating EU Member States (e.g. EU except UK & Denmark) by 4 October 2016.
According to UN estimates, in 2009, proceeds of crime reached €1.5 trillion. In early 2014, an EU report assessed that less than one per cent of those proceeds of crime were frozen or confiscated, and that “most of this “dirty money” is laundered and channelled into the licit economy”. Laws on the confiscation of proceeds of crime across EU member states have been criticized as underutilized, not fully effective, and uneven, with laws differing significantly from one EU member state to another. With that in mind, in early 2014, the EU has adopted a new Directive on the Freezing and Confiscation of Instrumentalities and Proceeds of Crime in the EU (EU Directive 2014/42/EU & Corrigendum published 29 April 2014).
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