Legal Measures for Targeting the Proceeds of Crime
Edited by Simon N.M. Young
Chapter 12: The Current Forfeiture Regime in Taiwan
Lawrence L.C. Lee INTRODUCTION Asset forfeiture has been and remains a highly effective tool for taking the profit out of crime.1 Crime related to obtaining monetary interests seems to be a necessary evil which cannot be eliminated. Once money becomes the aim for crime, the incentives for recidivism are strong. The most effective way to prevent such crimes is to cut off the temptations for such activities. The goal of a forfeiture system is to sever the tie between crime and the motivation to commit crime. Another important goal is to transfer the criminal interests in property, such as a drug dealer’s helicopter or fancy automobile, to benefit the governmental resources in fighting crime. The dual effects of a forfeiture regime will therefore cut off the criminal interest in property and preserve the beneficial outcome for the national authorities. This is one of the major reasons why most common law countries, such as the United States (US), have established a forfeiture regime.2 Taiwan’s constitution ensures its citizens have the right of property.3 The government cannot deprive citizens of property without monetary compensation or legal judicial process. Taiwan currently has a regime for judicial forfeiture (criminal forfeiture) and non-judicial forfeiture (detention by the 1 See Department of the Treasury (US) (April 2004), Guide to Equitable Sharing for Foreign Countries and Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Agencies, Washington DC, US: Executive Office for Asset Forfeiture: see online version at http://www.ustreas.gov/offices/enforcement/teoaf/guidelines/greenbook.pdf, accessed 16 January 2008. 2 For more on the US...
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