Italy and Colombia Sign Agreement to Confiscate Mafia Assets
By Dialogo November 08, 2012
Italy and Colombia will sign a cooperation agreement to facilitate the seizure of mafia assets, as well as profits obtained from drug trafficking by criminal organizations, Italian Chief of Police Antonio Manganelli announced on November 6.
The statement was made during the annual INTERPOL General Assembly held in Rome.
“We have to recover by force what was stolen from us,” said the Italian Police Chief, known for the excellent results in the fight against the Cosa Nostra Sicilian mafia.
Later on, Manganelli held a bilateral meeting with the Colombian delegation headed by General José Roberto León Riaño, chief of the Colombian Police, to which the Italian official confirmed the “synergy” between both police forces.
Both countries aim at signing a collaboration agreement to take advantage of the experience gained during the fight against the mafia.
Every year, Italy confiscates thousands of millions of euros in assets from mafia organizations, such as mansions, luxury automobiles, yachts, art collections, businesses, warehouses, and houses.
After a lengthy process, Italian Law allows the confiscated assets to be transferred to the State, which has the faculty of deciding over them, as in the case of land, which can be given away to nongovernmental and cooperative organizations for commercial use.
The INTERPOL General Assembly brought together about 100 Justice, Interior, and Security ministers from all around the world to the Italian capital to discuss the criminal violence that has been manifested in all kinds of crimes, from human trafficking to terrorism.
The four-day meeting (November 5 – 8) opened under the theme “Challenges for Police Facing Contemporary Criminal Violence,” and served as a discussion forum for over 1,000 delegates from about 170 countries to determine realistic strategies to effectively prevent, suppress, and confront the changing nature of violence and crime in the contemporary world.
According to INTERPOL’s Secretary General Ronald K. Noble, about 500,000 people are murdered each year in violent situations.