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Articles Tagged with Civil Asset Forfeiture

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pexels-alexander-bobrov-1036866-300x168On Friday, April 23, Audrey Strauss, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, John C. Demers, the Assistant Attorney General for National Security, and William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, made public the filing of a criminal complaint against Kwek Kee Seng. Seng was accused of money laundering and conspiring to breach economic sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

They also announced the lodging of a civil forfeiture complaint against M/T Courageous, an oil products tanker owned and operated by Kwek. Kwek allegedly used M/T Courageous to transport petroleum illegally to North Korea via ship-to-ship transfers.

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pexels-pixabay-39080-300x200On April 26, 2021, deputies in Wheeler County, Texas, forfeited $271,000 from a vehicle during a traffic stop Sunday. The deputies then called a Wheeler County K9 to the scene. According to the sheriff’s department, the money is now pending civil forfeiture.

Civil asset forfeiture is a tool used by law enforcement to seize property that they believe has been or will be involved in a crime. The property may be cash, personal belongings, or any other assets.

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pexels-thomas-lin-4488457-300x192U.S. Reps Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and Tim Walberg (R-MI) have initiated legislation seeking to improve civil asset forfeiture laws by limiting abuse of power and giving control back to citizens.

Although civil forfeiture is an important tool in law enforcement, critics claim that police use it to profit off innocent individuals. To prevent this, the Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration (FAIR) Act seeks to increase the degree of evidence needed for the federal government’s reasoning to seize property. It would change the IRS structuring statute to better protect small business owners and expand transparency and congressional oversight.

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christoph-von-gellhorn-kjA82leKmJc-unsplash-300x200Eastern Arizona College recently hosted a training event on police standards for officers throughout the state. The source of funding for the event? Assets seized using civil asset forfeiture.

Civil asset forfeiture is supposed to hamstring large drug enterprises by targeting their profits. However, it is hard to compare the resident drug dealers of Graham County to big-time drug lords.

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pexels-karolina-grabowska-5980856-300x200Monmouth County, NJ, has declared the liquidation of Bitcoin assets that were seized in 2018 using asset forfeiture. The value of the cryptocurrency has tripled since the seizure; it was seized at $57,000 and is now worth $198,000, reports indicate.

According to press sources, the assets were seized from an illegal drug distribution bust in Long Branch. Officials reportedly determined that the Bitcoins were profits of illegal narcotics sales.

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