Millions taken from criminals to go back to victims
Ten million euros seized from criminal suspects who were convicted last year is being put into a fund to pay damages to victims, Security and Justice Secretary Fred Teeven said Sunday. The new rules on asset forfeiture went into effect last January. “One year on, this is quite a nice result,” Teeven told television programme WNL op Zondag. Courts will determine how much money is paid out in each case. The assets were taken in about 130 cases, Teeven said. It is not certain how much of the fund will be paid to victims, because it will not be released until those convicted run out of appeals. Money will not only be paid out to those directly affected, but also secondary victims to crimes. If an elderly man was accidentally knocked over by a scooter thief, both the owner of the scooter and the elderly man might be compensated from the cash in the thief's pockets, the Justice Secretary remarked.