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New Australian Law Would Place Burden of Proof of Legitimacy of Wealth on Criminals

Monies captured from illegal schemes could be used to fund victim help and would be a welcome change for Australian residents. According to an AAP report, this vision is soon to become a reality.

Proposals announced by NSW Premier Kristina Keneally would give police more power to snatch money they suspect could have been obtained illegally by organized crime figures. This change would reverse the current pressure on police to prove the source of ill-gotten gains and would instead force criminals to prove that their wealth is legitimate.

"Organized crime bosses and major drug traffickers often go to extraordinary lengths to hide the source of their tainted assets from the reach of law enforcement agencies," Keneally told a NSW Police Association conference at Terrigal on the Central Coast.

Of the confiscated cash, half would go to a Victims Compensation Fund. As a result, victims could receive an additional $120 million over ten years.

Martha Jabour, executive director of the Homicide Victims' Support Group told AAP that this move would put bad money to good use. Cash would be taken from the criminals who cause pain and give it to the victims who need and deserve support and care.

Ken Marslew, founder of anti-violence organization Enough is Enough, also welcomed the plans. "We totally support this and to be honest it's about time it happened," he told AAP. "Police should be able to take the money they suspect is from crime. And it should be used to help the victims."

The approval of this law would be a major blow to criminal syndicates, many of whom draw their fortunes from the drug trade. By placing the burden of proof on the criminal, it creates additional pressure to keep business legitimate. Criminals are bound to identify ways to get around the system, but this new law is sure to put a dent in drug-based wealth.

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