The European Commission (EC), in order to combat organized crime, intends to propose amendments to legislation that will facilitate the confiscation of property acquired by criminal means. The new measures are also planned to be extended to Russian and Belarusian oligarchs and politicians associated with Russia’s war in Ukrainesaid European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas in an interview with the Welt am Sonntag weekly published on Saturday, May 14.
“The European Commission will shortly put forward a proposal to improve the current EU legal framework relating to confiscation of propertyto strengthen the powers of national law enforcement agencies to detect, freeze, confiscate and manage criminal property,” Schinas said, noting that existing laws are not enough to deprive organized crime of high profits.
Measures against Russian oligarchs and politicians
According to Margaritis Schinas, the volume of criminal proceeds in the EU is at least 139 billion euros, but only one percent of this amount can be confiscated. The amendments developed by the EC will allow to confiscate criminal means and manage them without a guilty verdict of the court, said the deputy chairman of the EC. He also said that the new rules will help the European Commission more effectively enforce sanctions against oligarchs and politicians close to Putin.
“We see a very concrete example of how important the freezing and confiscation of property is in connection with the EU sanctions against Russians and Belarusians, which contributed to the war in Ukraine,” Schinas said.