LA News Release, "Home Office Failure to Seize Assets from 'Top criminals' to be Welcomed" (June 2006)
NEWS RELEASE FROM THE LIBERTARIAN ALLIANCE
In Association with the Libertarian International
Release Date: Thursday 15th June 2006
Release Time: Immediate
Dr Sean Gabb (Director), 07956 472 199, firstname.lastname@example.org
"HOME OFFICE FAILURE TO SEIZE CASH FROM 'TOP CRIMINALS' TO BE WELCOMED", FREE MARKET AND CIVIL LIBERTIES THINK TANK TELLS HOME SECRETARY
The Libertarian Alliance, the radical free market and civil liberties policy institute, today congratulates lawyers and Judges who have frustrated the working of the Assets Recovery Agency set up under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The purpose of this Agency is to seize assets from suspected criminals before trial and conviction. Money seized is supposed to pay the running costs of the Agency. It has, however, so far seized only £4.3 million while spending about £18 million. One reason for its failure is that criminals are holding up cases by claiming breaches of their human rights.
Libertarian Alliance Director, Dr Sean Gabb, says:
"The Assets Recovery Agency and the Proceeds of Crime Act that enables it are works of pure evil. They are key elements of the police state set up by the Thatcher, Major and Blair Governments. The Act breaches Article 39 of Magna Carta in allowing punishment without due process of law. A man can be deprived of his property without having been convicted of any criminal offence. This is theft. This tyranny.
"Moreover, the Act turns professional advisers into police spies. Any lawyer or accountant who does not report reasonable suspicions of any financial offence is himself guilty of an offence.
"The Libertarian Alliance celebrates the complete failure of the Assets Recovery Agency during its existence to steal enough to pay the salaries of the low grade functionaries it employs. It regrets only that some assets have been stolen.
"We congratulate the lawyers and Judges who have worked so hard to neuter this bad law. We wish them well."
The Libertarian Alliance believes:
* That the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 should be immediately repealed.
* That all similar legislation, such as the Drug Trafficking Offences Act 1986 and all other laws regarding "money laundering", should be immediately repealed;
* That the Assets Recovery Agency and all other agencies of inspection and control set up to implement the above laws should be immediately abolished, and that their records be destroyed;
* That all investigatory powers given to the authorities for the prosecution of offences under the above laws should be immediately abolished;
* That all persons found guilty under the above laws should be pardoned and where appropriate compensated;
* Than any international treaty seeking to prevent any of the above should be formally denounced as a violation of national sovereignty;
* That any organisation arguing against the above should receive no public funding.
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