Despite a European directive on joint jurisdiction on confiscated goods, actual European monitoring is virtually nonexistent. European criminal organisations take advantage of this lack of solid jurisdiction.
In 2006 the European Council adopted the framework directive 2006/783/GAI, to provide a joint jurisdiction on goods confiscated from criminal organisations. Eight years later, 21 countries adhere to the decision but seven still are missing: Italy, Estonia, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovakia and the United Kingdom.
Confiscated assets are worth almost 4 billion euros a year in all of Europe. The data currently available Europe-wide, however, do not allow for a complete picture on confiscated goods. Aside from some national information, there is a lack of stats detailing the extent to which member states are able to recover illicit assets and cash. It is hard to estimate the true size of criminal wealth that ends up in the control of the state.
The cross-border data project Confiscated Goods focused on five main European countries, each with its own peculiarities when it comes to confiscation and freezing of assets: Italy, France, Spain, Germany and the UK.
Photos © Arctic Wolves
- 'Beni confiscati alle mafie, tesoro da 4 miliardi: ma la villa del pregiudicato è in affito su Airbnb' (IT) (L'Espresso, 16th December 2015)
- 'L’or du crime, profits d’Etat' (FR) (Libération, 15th December 2015)
- 'Los bienes 'negros' decomisados a las mafias, un botín de 2.000 millones de euros anuales' (ES) (El Confidencial, 16th December 2015)
- 'Wo das schmutzige Geld landet' (DE) (stern, 16th December 2015)
- 'Italie : la longue et difficile "guerre" contre la mafia' (FR) (France 3, 16th December 2015)
- Confiscated Goods (project website, 16th December 2015)
- 'The luxury villa on Airbnb that exposes Europe’s weakness over criminals’ assets' (euronews, 16th December 2015)
- (Making-of) 'How an Italian data journalism collaboration investigated dark money across Europe' (IJNet, 15th January 2016)
- (Making-of) 'Inside a Pioneering Italian Data Journalism Collaboration' (gijn.org, 11th January 2016)