Sun, Sep. 24, 2006

Seize and Keep Fruits of Crime

CK - Washington.   The federal government enacted legislation to retain seized illicit gains of criminals. Currently, German criminal law provides that victims may claim such gains but if they fail to, the seized assets will eventually return to criminals, unless other asset forfeiture rules apply.

The bill announced by the Berlin Attorney General would entitle the state to retain the seized assets in the event that victims do not step forward. The enhanced forfeiture rules would also provide victims with a priority claim to such assets, thus disadvantaging other creditors.

The diet, Bundestag, approved the bill on June 29, 2006, and the second chamber, Bundesrat, consented in its 825th session on September 22, 2006. The statute, entitled Gesetz zur Stärkung der Rückgewinnungshilfe und der Vermögensabschöpfung bei Straftaten is set to enter into force in 2007.


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