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Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship

Commission calls on 14 EU Member States to make sure cross-border crime doesn't pay

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Over €160 million in criminal assets have recently been seized by authorities in Italy and the UK. However these were only a fraction of the criminals' total wealth, which can be easily transferred across borders. Since 2006 EU rules are in force that have allowed Member States to confiscate criminal assets abroad. But a report published today by the European Commission shows that half of EU countries have yet to put these rules in place. Requesting the swift implementation of these rules that help fight cross-border crime, the EU's Justice Commissioner, Viviane Reding commented: "In a time of economic crisis, it is unfortunate that EU Member States are letting billions of euro worth of convicted criminals' assets slip through the net. This happens even though governments agreed on confiscation measures four years ago".