Justice officials confiscate over €221m from convicted criminals

Cash seized in a drugs raid. Photo: OM

Justice ministry officials in the Netherlands confiscated over €221m from convicted criminals last year, well above their target of €138m. The total is made up of cash found during police raids but most comes from settlements and declarations, the public prosecution department said.

The 2016 figure of €416m was inflated to the tune of €268m by a massive out of court settlement with telecoms company VimpelCom – the biggest deal in Dutch legal history.

Public prosecution department official Marianne Bloos said in a video statement that targeting criminal assets has led the perpetrators to be more innovative in their approach to laundering or hiding cash.

‘We have to do the same, and that means innovating across the entire process,’ she said. ‘Cooperation with foreign justice departments is improving but at the same time, criminals are using other methods, such as bitcoins, to move their money around.’

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