Criminal assets to be used for humanitarian purposes

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foto: MINA

Podgorica, (MINA) – Montenegro should use the Italian model and regulate managing the forfeited criminal assets, so that they could be used for humanitarian purposes, said MANS executive director Vanja Calovic.

Speaking at the conference on forfeiting and managing the criminal assets, she said that even the basic information are being deleted from the final verdicts that could be used to follow the financial and narcotics flow.

“Even in case of permanent confiscation of those assets, they are not used, and therefore we should allow, using the Italian model, that Montenegro regulate managing and using the criminal assets”, Calovic emphasized.

She said that forfeited criminal assets should be used for humanitarian purposes.

Calovic remarked that due to omissions in the work of the judiciary and prosecution in organized crime cases that ended with acquittals, society suffered triple damages.

“First of all, the criminals do not go to prison but continue performing criminal activities, second, their assets are not confiscated, but they are using them to finance further crimes and finally, negligence occurred while the state was in charge of managing the forfeited assets”, Calovic emphasized.

According to her, the prosecution also was not held accountable for the omissions they made.

She added that instead responsibility, main response of the prosecution is that the organized crime can hardly be proved and that solution is in making plea agreements.

“However, the prosecution made those agreements even in the cases in which it undeniably had evidence which would have brought to convictions for organized crime”, said Calovic.

Director General of the Judiciary Directorate Marijana Lakovic said that within general democratic processes in Montenegro, that involve change of political, economic and legislative system, the fight against corruption and organized crime is an important part.

According to her, zero tolerance towards crime and corruption is the motive the government is led by in order to combat those occurrences.

“However, we must be aware that the fight against organized crime has never and nowhere been initiated and completed overnight”, Lakovic emphasized.

EU Ambassador to Montenegro Aivo Orav said that forfeiting of criminal assets is an important topic and the key instrument in fight against crime and corruption.

“Montenegro has achieved some level of progress, but this issues is still a cause for concern”, said Orav.

He reminded about the last European Commission’s report that pointed out that Montenegro should strengthen its effort and carry out financial investigations simultaneously with criminal investigations.

Orav remarked that strong and independent institutions remain crucial in fight against organized crime and corruption.

Longer version of article is available on a link MINA ENGLISH SERVIS