Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Crims 'losing millions' in cash, assets

Millions of dollars in cash and assets have been stripped from organised crime gangs and other NSW offenders in the past year, the state government says.

In the past 14 months, $26.5 million in cash and assets has been seized or frozen in accordance with the Criminal Assets Recovery Act, Police Minister David Campbell said.

"This sends a clear message to criminals that their flash cars, boats and mansions are prime targets for NSW police," he said.

"If jail isn't enough of a deterrent for these crooks, then losing their prized possessions should definitely be."

Among goods already seized are real estate, cars, jet skis, jewellery and almost $8 million in cash, all linked to one major investigation.

Funds raised by the confiscation of cash and goods goes toward crime prevention, and drug rehabilitation and education programs.

Mr Campbell praised a strengthening of the Confiscation of Proceeds of Crime Act for the increased value of seizures.

"The new system gives police the power to pursue confiscation matters in the local court," he said.

"Police can seek to seize and sell any tainted property linked to a suspect, such as a vehicle used to drive to the scene of a crime or a mobile phone used to set up drug deals."

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