According to the latest EU rules, it looks like the government is able to freeze and confiscate unexplained wealth at will. Here are more details about the worrisome moves below.

New EU rules terrify people

The European Union (EU) has agreed on new legislation to combat organized crime by freezing and confiscating assets that are believed to be linked to criminal activities.

The Council has established mandatory rules for tracing, identifying, freezing, confiscating and managing assets that are deemed to be criminal property.

These measures will help EU member states to freeze properties and ultimately confiscate them, as well as enabling a final conviction if a criminal offence has been committed.

Member states will not only confiscate “criminal money” but will also adopt rules to manage confiscated assets and ensure the value of confiscated property corresponds to the criminal yield.

Says the press release,

“In a first for many member states, a new rule on the confiscation of unexplained wealth will, under certain conditions, allow the confiscation of property identified in the context of an investigation in relation to criminal offences, provided that a national court is satisfied that the identified property is derived from criminal activities committed within the framework of a criminal organisation and that those activities give rise to substantial economic benefit.

The agreement pays special attention to procedural safeguards.”

According to the new measures, if someone transfers their wealth or property to a third party with the intention of avoiding confiscation, the government can seize it back if they believe the receiver knew or should have known about the reason for the transfer.

Félix Bolaños, the Spanish Minister for Justice, stated that the profits generated from criminal activities are enormous, and that governments must have the ability to recover them in order to fight organized crime.

The new measure’s fundamentals were agreed upon in mid-2023, and it specifically mentioned crypto assets by name.

The next step is for member states’ representatives within the Council to endorse the agreement.

If it is approved, the text will then go through the formal adoption process in both the Council and the European Parliament.

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