Assets confiscation instruction in effect

PHILIPSBURG–The Prosecutors Office is now armed with the tools needed to act on persons who gain financial proceeds from criminal activities thanks to the “Instruction Assets Recovery,” which went into effect as of Saturday, July 1, 2017.

The instruction outlines rules for the criminal prosecution, by the Public Prosecutor, of financial proceeds derived from criminal activities. According to a press release from the Prosecutors Office, the instruction outlines the criminal justice options that are available. “The starting point is that the effectiveness determines the choice for or a combination of options that can be taken. Chain cooperation is central to the recovery of assets. Collaboration and exchange of information between the relevant public services, such as the Tax Department, is crucial in this,” the release said.

The instruction refers to the instruments available to the Prosecutors Office and is based on current laws and regulations. When dealing with the criminal justice instrument, the regular legal protection is the starting point. Criminal jurisdictions can only be deployed if there is a reasonable suspicion of guilt of any criminal offense committed by a suspect within the scope of the Criminal Procedure Code, where the legal provisions regarding possible involvement of the court applies.

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The instruction is covered under Article 5 paragraph 4 of the Public Prosecutor’s Office issued by the Attorney General (PG) of Curaçao, St. Maarten and Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba. It is the Attorney-General’s wish that the criminal prosecution policy in and between the Prosecutors Office of Curaçao, St. Maarten and the Caribbean Netherlands is unambiguous as much as possible, the release said. Therefore, it was decided to issue one instruction.

“The government represents a safe and equitable society and therefore chooses a broad and comprehensive approach to all forms of crime, abuse, improper use and fraud in society. Many criminal offenses are committed for profit. The elimination of criminal property is therefore a valuable means of combating crime,” the release said.

“The use of the criminal justice instrument to deal with criminal capacity is an important part of this approach by the government, but certainly not the only one. Therefore, in different countries within the Kingdom, integral asset recovery teams are already active,” the release added.

The instruction can be read and downloaded on the website: http://www.openbaarministerie.org/en/ag-s-office/guidelines.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/67371-assets-confiscation-instruction-in-effect

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