Every year, around 100 vehicles that are seized by authorities will be made available to the police as the law that allows this will be improved, Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne said on Thursday.
For years now, the transfer of these vehicles was possible but was rarely carried out due to a lack of clear agreements. This process has now been smoothed out by a cooperation agreement, meaning the Federal Judicial Police will be given 100 seized vehicles by the Central Office for Seizure and Confiscation (COIV) each year.
"The police must become more effective in the fight against organised crime. One of the ways to increase that power is to expand the fleet of vehicles. That is why we want the seized vehicles to be used as much as possible by the police," Van Quickenborne said.
Annelies Verlinden, Home Affairs Minister, added that this clarifying of the existing legal framework will give the police more clout in the fight against organised crime and serious crime."
Federal and local level
Local police zones will also be able to use these cars to "gain the upper hand in the fight against organised crime."
"This is particularly useful when it is necessary to make observations with vehicles that may not be known in the criminal world. Additional resources in the fight against crime are always welcome," Jurgen De Landsheer, representative of the Permanent Committee of the Local Police (VCLP), said.
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The vehicles in question can only be worth less than €50,000, as cars worth more than that are generally reserved for public sale in order to maximise the recovery of criminal funds.
Furthermore, in the case of crimes involving victims, confiscated cars are sold to compensate the victims rather than loaned to the police.