Illegal assets: Since 1990, Montesinos has received, among other things, bribes related to the arms trade in at least 32 transactions (each worth 18% of the purchase price) as well as commissions for the purchase of three aircraft for the Peruvian Air Force (Levi, Dakolias and Greenberg 2007). Montesinos had deposited his illicit assets in several jurisdictions, including Switzerland, the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, Peru and the United States. In addition, States could decide to adopt a value-based approach to confiscation, allowing a court to impose financial liability (e.g. a fine) once it has identified the benefit arising directly or indirectly from criminal conduct. Value-based confiscation is also included in Article 12(1)(a) of the Organised Crime Convention. It should also be noted that in some countries assets may be confiscated, even if they are not directly related to the specific crime for which the perpetrator was convicted, but are clearly the result of similar criminal activities (i.e. prolonged confiscation). Depending on the nature of the case and the jurisdictions involved, various legal instruments are available to asset recovery practitioners. The choice of a particular route depends on the legal framework and the practical or operational circumstances of the case. In the words of former President George Bush, „Property forfeiture laws allow the administration to take the ill-gotten profits of drug lords and use them to bring more police officers onto the streets.“ New York City Police Chief Howard Safir invoked deterrence when he said, „We believe that. The threat of civil forfeiture and the possibility of losing one`s car have helped reduce the number of motorists willing to run the risk of being drunk.
On the other hand, a civil rights group filed a lawsuit challenging the legality and constitutionality of the New York program. Citing some of the same constitutional concerns, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would significantly restrict federal enforcement of the law. Background: Vladimiro Montesinos, personal advisor to Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000) and de facto head of Peruvian intelligence, was implicated in a corruption scandal involving the corruption of an elected member of the opposition Congress in September 2000. In fact, a Peruvian TV channel aired a leaked video (one of Vladi`s so-called videos) showing Montesinos paying the congressman $15,000 and asking him to leave his party and join Fujimori`s coalition. A few months later, in November 2000, President Fujimori resigned, and in June 2001, Montesinos was arrested after eight months on the run in Venezuela. Subsequent investigations revealed that Montesinos was involved in numerous illegal activities, including bribery, embezzlement of public funds, arms and drug trafficking, and human rights violations. Montesinos was charged, tried and convicted on several counts. There have been reports of systematic abuses of civil forfeiture.
USA Today described it as „an increasingly common – and extremely outrageous – practice that can amount to theft legalized by the police.“  Journalist Sarah Stillman, who wrote in the New Yorker, interviewed numerous police officers, lawyers, prosecutors, judges, and plaintiffs in the United States, noting that many had reservations about the abuse of innocent Americans.  The New Yorker published a „sprawling investigation“ into how cities abuse civil confiscations to „bolster their coffers with tight budgets by confiscating the wealth of the poor, often on trumped-up charges.“  Comedian and political commentator John Oliver dedicated 2014 to a satirical revelation of civil forfeiture. Unless required by law (as required by 18 U.S.C. § 981(a)(2)), the innocence of the owner is generally not a defense. In addition, the courts strictly interpret legal objections. For example, courts may apply an objective standard to determine whether the owner should have knowledge of the illegal use of the property, rather than requiring proof of actual knowledge. The owner may argue that no crime ever took place, that the government had no probable reason, or that the property is not closely related enough to the crime to be considered an instrument or proceeds. Considering that the Organised Crime Convention does not refer to this type of confiscation, the Convention against Corruption includes it in Article 54(1)(c), which encourages States to „take the necessary measures to confiscate [property acquired or involved in the commission of an offence established in accordance with this Convention] without a criminal conviction in which the offender cannot be prosecuted for death – flight or absence or in other appropriate cases“.
The following is an excerpt from the second edition of the StAR Asset Recovery Manual, which was updated in 2020. Further discussions on the different legal mechanisms can be found in the manual. Therefore, the choice of jurisdiction was made on the basis of the possibility of enforcing a court decision obtained in a European court in a country party to legal instruments (such as the Brussels Convention). Because of the legal instruments, such a decision would be recognised and applied throughout Europe. It was expected that out-of-court settlements in the UK would also be enforceable in Zambia once they were registered in the UK court. The nature of the proceedings ensures that the defendant is protected by the procedural rights enshrined in the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. The property must be identified in the indictment to notify the defendant and there must be an opportunity to challenge the forfeiture. These notifications and procedures are defined in Article 32.2 of the Federal Code of Criminal Procedure. The property must be identified in the indictment to notify the defendant and there must be an opportunity to challenge the forfeiture.