Legal and Political Aspects of Confiscation of Criminal Assets in the Republic Of Serbia Cover Image

Правно-политички аспекти одузимања имовине стечене криминалом у Pепублици Cрбији
Legal and Political Aspects of Confiscation of Criminal Assets in the Republic Of Serbia

Author(s): Goran Bošković, Sreten M. Jugović
Subject(s): Criminal Law, International relations/trade, Law on Economics
Published by: Институт за политичке студије
Keywords: organised crime; illegal income; economic power; seizure of the proceeds of crime;

Summary/Abstract: The consequences carried by organised crime reflect not only in the particular criminal acts, but also, much more, in the possibility to influence, directly or indirectly, state decisions in the sphere of its economy or politics, and even the international relations as a whole. The authors’ thesis is that financial gain is one major motive for the commission of serious criminal offences, and that illegally obtained funds are either used to finance new criminal activities or laundered to be infiltrated into legitimate economic channels, by which means not only the economic, but also most often the political power of organised criminal groups is exercised. The authors place particular emphasis on the necessity to confiscate the proceeds of criminal activity – a sui generis measure, as a powerful tool that neutralises the financial base of criminal structures, prevents their active engagement and strategically undermines the levers of economic power of organised crime. To criminal structures, it is money that plays the key role, above all. Specifically, the traditional criminal law sanctions, or even decades-long prison sentences, caused little reaction compared to the seizure of criminal proceeds from the perpetrators themselves. In this context, it is crucial to the efficiency of the financial investigation to insist that it be conducted in parallel to the criminal investigation, and even on the possibility for the financial investigators to actively participate in criminal processions from their beginning (pro-active model), in particular in situations involving organised and economic crime. In addition, it is particularly important to strengthen professional and technical capacity of the Financial Investigation Unit and create specialised training and continuing professional development programmes. Also important would be the integration of databases of various state authorities into a single electronic system, to be accessed by the Financial Investigation Unit and other public security services, which would enable significant saving of resources and their efficient allocation with regard to priorities in the police work. In the domain of work of the Directorate for Seized and Confiscated Assets Management, it is necessary to retain economic experts, in order to ensure that seized assets are disposed of in the best possible way, because the idea of the legislator is not to turn seized capital into dead capital, which will only generate even greater costs for the state (maintenance, disposal, management), but, on the contrary, to have seized assets disposed of in a manner that will boost the state capital. The creation of a uniform criminal data collection methodology and the investigation into the volume, concentration and distribution of criminal profit are the necessary preconditions for the creation of strategic priorities in this area. Also essential is the development of the modalities for international mutual cooperation at the strategic and operational levels, and active participation in the activities of international organisations in all phases of financial investigation. The said measures should be made part of strategic priorities in the domain of countering organised crime, and also embodied in the practice of relevant institutions.

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 147-166
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: Serbian