The confiscation/forfeiture of criminal or illegal assets is considered as a very effective way to fight organised crime, which is essentially
profit-driven. The confiscation/forfeiture of assets has been in the focus of the attention of the European Union (EU) for quite some time now, but since 2001 there are documents that can indicate developments in the concept on behalf of European institutions.
Three EU Member States that experience similar problems regarding serious crime, but apply different asset forfeiture models, come to serve
as a case in point. These models differ not only in terms of their specific characteristics but their logic as well. At their heart, however, these three models appear not so different, in particular regarding identification and freezing of assets, the required judicial forfeiture proceedings and the execution of court judgments: they confront common problems.
Bulgaria, Italy and Romania serve as a good example of three asset confiscation/forfeiture models. Bulgaria applies a model where illegal
asset forfeiture is sanctioned by a civil court and does not require a final conviction of the person involved. Italy’s mixed model relies on its special legislation in relation to the mafia, while Romania applies a model of extended confiscation of proceeds of crime.
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