Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Mafia asset confiscation measure advances in European Parliament
by Staff Writers
Brussels (UPI) May 9, 2013

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

A key European Parliament committee this week signed off on legislation calling for confiscation of organized crime assets and their distribution to local communities.

The EP's Civil Liberties Committee Tuesday voted to approve part of a larger anti-Mafia report that would apply to assets deemed to be held by criminal organizations.

Under the proposal, drawn up by the Parliament's Special Committee on Organized Crime, EU members would be asked to simplify rules on confiscating criminals' assets.

Among its provisions, the measure would allow for the confiscation of buildings, vehicles and other assets even before the end of a trial, if permitted by local judicial authorities. Proceeds from the assets would be redistributed to benefit the community for "social purposes."

The confiscation provision was part of a landmark package of tough anti-Mafia proposals approved Tuesday by the European Parliament's special organized crime committee.

In addition to asset confiscation, they would bar anyone convicted of a serious crime or corruption from tendering for public contracts or running for election in the European Union for at least five years. They would also make Mafia membership a crime throughout the European bloc.

The idea of confiscation, however, had to pass civil liberties muster. After months of discussion between the European Parliament's organized crime and civil liberties committees, the measure was passed and goes to a June plenary vote in Strasbourg, France.

The approval of the anti-Mafia package was welcomed by Sonia Alfano, an Italian member of European Parliament and chairwoman of the special committee on organized crime.

"After a year of negotiations we were able to insert into the text advanced standards such as confiscation without conviction and the reuse of assets confiscated for social purposes," she said.

"The text proposes a standardization of national laws in order to make it easier to cooperate, and thus make possible a European assault against criminal assets."

Should it pass the plenary vote, the anti-Mafia legislation would then be subject to negotiations with national justice ministers in the European Council, where it could be watered down or otherwise amended.

But, Alfano said, "one thing is certain: the European Parliament is every day taking a position and assuming its responsibility to address the threat posed by crime organized by the Mafia."

The measure comes a month after Italian anti-Mafia police confiscated $1.7 billion in assets from Vito Nicastri, 57, of Sicily's Trapani province, a well-known photovoltaic power generation and wind power entrepreneur, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

Authorities alleged Nicastri was able to become the "king of wind power" in Sicily thanks to his connections with fugitive reputed Mafia "superboss" Matteo Messina Denaro and the 'Ndrangheta criminal organization in Calabria.

Seized assets included all the shares of Nicastri's company; 98 buildings, villas, warehouses and tracts of land; seven vehicles such as cars, motorcycles and boats; and 66 financial assets, including current accounts, life insurance policies, security deposits, credit cards, prepaid cards and investment funds, the Rome daily Il Fatto Quotidiano reported.

The European Parliament's confiscation measure, meanwhile, underwent some thorny negotiations, with some MEPs worried that seizing property before a conviction would violate the human rights of accused Mafiosi.

Thus a provision was inserted leaving such defendants the right to regain their property through appeals to the local courts, the Quotidiano di Sicilia reported.


Related Links
The Economy

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Argentina offers tax amnesty to head off devaluation
Buenos Aires (UPI) May 8, 2013
Argentina's latest effort to tease out billions of U.S. dollars said to be held by citizens through sweeping tax breaks and interest earnings received lukewarm response, though this may change. Argentine citizens are said to be holding the greenback in illegal stashes as a hedge against the Argentine peso's unstable performance, a runaway inflation and general distrust of the government ... read more

Finding a sensible balance for natural hazard mitigation with mathematical models

Even Clinton couldn't get Led Zep to Sandy show

Brother admits defeat in tragic Bangladesh search

New York's Sandy lesson: evacuate and get boats

iGT Debuts Airborne Satcom Solutions for Secure Connectivity and Situational Awareness

UF launches HiPerGator, Florida's most powerful supercomputer

Electrolysis method described for making 'green' iron

Do-it-yourself invisibility with 3D printing

NASA Study Projects Warming-Driven Changes in Global Rainfall

Spain lawmakers pass contested coastal reform

Rome river judged too dirty for tourist cruises

JFAST scientists retrieve temperature data from Japan Trench observatory

NATO won't up presence in the Arctic: chief

Brazil rebuilding Antarctic base gutted by fire

Scientists sound alarm at Arctic Ocean's rapid acidification

NASA's IceBridge Finishing Up Successful Arctic Campaign

Agriculture and Livestock Remain Major Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

An electronic nose can tell pears and apples apart

Zeal to ensure clean leafy greens takes bite out of riverside habitat in California

Scientists alarmed by rapid spread of Brown Streak Disease in cassava

Researchers Develope New Way To Measure Destructive Potential Of Hurricane Season

No Redoubt: Volcanic eruption forecasting improved

Philippine volcano survivor recalls 'scene from hell'

More hurricanes for Hawaii?

Tanzanian troops head for UN mission to fight Congo rebels

Jihadists hunted in Tunisia 'former Mali fighters'

Nigeria's Islamists boost military threat

Deadly bombings hit drive to save Somalia

Humans may have driven ancient mastodons into 'civil war'

Monkey math

British retailer removes gender-specific toys after Internet protests

Gentle touch and the bionic eye

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement