Belgian parties want to increase fines to dissuade criminals
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    Belgian parties want to increase fines to dissuade criminals

    The MR, CD&V and Open Vld want criminals to be fined three times as much as they earned through their crimes. 

    This is included in a proposed bill that would reform the penal code, De Tijd reported on Saturday. 

    Justice minister Koen Geens did not manage to get all of his penal code review passed because of the change in government. He has to submit his reform to Parliament via a proposed bill. 

    The proposed bill is comprised of over 1,000 pages and was co-signed by Geens, Servais Verherstraeten (CD&V), Katja Gabriëls (Open Vld) and Philippe Goffin (MR). 

    The revised penal code has already been adopted, but the new rules are not supposed to come into force until the 1st of October 2020. 

    One of the new elements of the penal code aims to dissuade criminals that are trying to get rich illegally by fining them more than they earned.

    All criminals, not just “white collar” criminals, will be affected: burglars, pimps, drug dealers, fraudsters and corrupt politicians.   

    Judges will be able to do more than just confiscate earnings, and will thus be able to hand down a fine of up to three times what the criminals earned.

    The changes will also affect what criminals hope to gain from their crimes and debts they are trying to avoid, such as taxes for example. The debts will be paid as part of the fine. 

    Sarah Johansson
    The Brussels Times