Illegal Assets Forfeiture Bill Passes in Bulgarian Parliament

December 7, 2012, Friday // 11:45
Bulgaria: Illegal Assets Forfeiture Bill Passes in Bulgarian Parliament
A total of 99 MPs backed the amendment, while 19 abstained from voting. File photo by BGNES

Amendments to a bill authorizing the confiscation of illegal assets passed on first reading in the Bulgarian Parliament on Friday.

The bill was recently vetoed by Bulgaria's Constitutional Court, as it granted authorities the right to launch probes and seize unexplained wealth, worth more than BGN 250,000 which has been acquired over the last fifteen years.

The Constitutional Court attacked that provision and suggested instead a period of ten years.

Lawmakers accepted the Court's ruling and vetoed in favor of the ten-year period in favor. A total of 99 MPs backed the amendment, while 19 abstained from voting.

The law sets out a regime for non-conviction based asset forfeiture – the commission in charge will be entitled to launch proceedings if it can make reasonable assumption that the property is illegally acquired.

The law envisages that the procedure will be launched if the person is indicted with terrorism, participation in an organized criminal group, kidnapping, enticement to prostitution, human trafficking, theft, robbery, embezzlement, unprofitable deal drugs, tax evasion, as well as hiding precious goods, which is usually punished with probation or just a fine.


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