Most states have long possessed the power both to confiscate the instruments that enable the perpetration of a crime and to return stolen property. The proceeds of the sale of contraband, and the funds paid in bribes in cases of corruption, present more difficult problems, because of questions over who owns the property involved. One of the purposes of criminalizing money laundering is to permit law enforcement agencies to confiscate these proceeds or instruments of crime. Confiscation is considered ‘a form of condign punishment’ for those who engage in the...
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