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Push for civil forfeiture in war on drugs

17 March 2004

Government seeks to add civil forfeiture in war on drugs


Progressive leader Jim Anderton says he hopes the coalition government's direction in relation to the proceeds of crime will be supported by a very large majority in Parliament.

"In May last year, I released the government's Methamphetamine Action Plan which outlined our efforts across a broad front of work in the war on drugs.

"One of the actions stemming from that plan was for officials to review the last National Government's Proceeds of Crime Act with a view to strengthening our hand in the fight against criminals who push illicit drugs on our young and have therefore declared war on all of us," Jim Anderton said.

"This is an issue all of us have an interest in. We all want to ensure that those that make money from dealing in illegal drugs are punished," he said.

Justice Minister Phil Goff announced in Parliament today that officials have been directed to develop a non-conviction based, civil forfeiture-type regime to complement our current conviction-based system – which in turn is also to be strengthened.

"We need to do this in New Zealand in order to enable Police to be better able to target the removal of the assets of those who have gained from dealing in drugs

"I hope all parties in Parliament will endorse this direction," Jim Anderton said.

Ends

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