Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime

(ETS No. 141)

Open for signature by the member States of the Council of Europe and non-member States which have participated in its elaboration, in Strasbourg, on 8 November 1990.

Entry into force: 1 September 1993.

Summary of the treaty

The aim of this Convention is to facilitate international co-operation and mutual assistance in investigating crime and tracking down, seizing and confiscating the proceeds thereof. The Convention is intended to assist States in attaining a similar degree of efficiency even in the absence of full legislative harmony.

Parties undertake in particular:

- to criminalise the laundering of the proceeds of crime;
- to confiscate instrumentalities and proceeds (or property the value of which corresponds to such proceeds).

For the purposes of international co-operation, the Convention provides for:

- forms of investigative assistance (for example, assistance in procuring evidence, transfer of information to another State without a request, adoption of common investigative techniques, lifting of bank secrecy etc.);
- provisional measures: freezing of bank accounts, seizure of property to prevent its removal;
- measures to confiscate the proceeds of crime: enforcement by the requested State of a confiscation order made abroad, institution by the requested State, of domestic proceedings leading to confiscation at the request of another State.