By Nelson Macedo da Cruz

« Organised crime represents one of the most serious threats to the EU Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, pressing the national authorities, EU institutions and agencies to discover new political, legal and operational solutions for existing and emerging problems. Although it is recognised that one of the best strategies to counter organised crime is to enhance financial investigation and asset recovery mechanisms – it has been reported that merely 1% of the proceeds of crime are confiscated (Europol, 2017). Notwithstanding the EU initiative led by the entry in force of the
Directive 2014/42/EU in October 2015, and the subsequent production of dense political and operational packages obliging and encouraging the adoption of measures to enable assets recovery, the actual confiscation and freezing results highlight the increasing impunity and feeling across these criminal groups that crime pays. Aware of the legal and institutional gaps in the EU and national levels and acting as truly multinational enterprises, the organised crime groups are expanding their activities and enhancing their influence in almost all segments of the market. Based on a qualitative methodological approach, this article is the result of an analysis of primary and secondary sources, both from social and legal areas, related to organised crime characteristics in parallel with the legislative acts aimed to recover their illegal profits in the EU, within a highly dynamic and evolving environment – “law in context” research (Vibhute & Anyalem, 2009, p. 22). »

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