The Council adopted today a directive on the freezing and confiscation of proceeds of crime in the EU (PE-COΝS 121/13). The directive aims to make it easier for national authorities to confiscate and recover the profits made by criminals from cross-border and organised crime.
The directive provides more possibilities for confiscating proceeds of crime in cases of the flight of the person concerned or illness (when it is impossible for the suspect or accused person to attend the criminal proceedings for a longer period of time, meaning that the proceedings cannot continue under normal conditions). It also provides for rules on extended powers of confiscation, thus making confiscation easier when a judge is convinced that the property in question has been obtained through crime.
The rules on confiscation from a third party have been harmonised and extensive safeguards have been put in place. Member states should also consider taking measures allowing confiscated property to be used in the public interest or for social purposes.