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Albanian Government Adopts Anti-Mafia Law

17 July 2004 -- In a bid to get tougher on organized crime, Albania's government has adopted a draft law that would expand the ability of authorities to seize and confiscate the property of mafia suspects.

Reports say the measure is expected to be passed by parliament soon.

Under the legislation, authorities would be able to impound and confiscate the assets of those convicted of organized crime offenses unless the owners can explain the origin of the assets.

Some of the money raised from the seizure of such assets would be given to victims of organized crime.

International officials have urged Albania to curb the use of its territory by international crime networks involved in trafficking in humans, drugs, and weapons if it wants to fulfill aspirations to join the European Union and NATO.