Polish MPs back plan to confiscate criminals' businesses
PR dla Zagranicy
Polish MPs on Friday voted through government plans which would allow the confiscation of assets gained through criminal activities, including entire companies.
The new rules proposed by the justice minsitry would allow the authorities to seize a company if it was used to commit a crime such as money laundering or tax fraud.
But a lawbreaker would not forfeit a business when such punishment "would be disproportionate to the crime," or when the business owner is not seriously at fault.
A total of 236 deputies voted for the new rules, while 160 were against and 39 abstained.
The bill will now be voted on in the Senate, the upper chamber of the Polish parliament.
Earlier, parliament rejected 16 amendments to the bill proposed by the opposition.
'Protecting honest entrepreneurs'
Marcin Warchoł, Deputy Minister of Justice, said it was “in the best interest of the country and entrepreneurs... to fight criminals and fraudsters.”
He added: “We are protecting honest entrepreneurs... Who is afraid of this bill? The PO and the PSL [the opposition Civic Platform and Polish People’s Party]… and not entrepreneurs.”
Arkadiusz Myrcha of the Civic Platform said that although the intention of the bill was right, it would be “a dangerous tool in the hands of irresponsible politicians”.
Mirosław Pampuch of the opposition Modern (Nowoczesna) party added: “We say unequivocally ‘yes’ to pursuing criminals, but unequivocally ‘no’ to creating bad legislation.”