Local October 29, 2023 | 7:35 am

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Luis Abinader promulgates Law 60-23 on assets

President Luis Abinader promulgated Law No. 60-23 to administer seized, confiscated, and abandoned assets in criminal proceedings and forfeiture of ownership trials.
Late in the afternoon of Friday, October 27, President Luis Abinader published Law 60-23. The new legal text was sent from the Senate last Wednesday, 25.

The law establishes a series of principles governing the Administration of all assets subject to the scope of its application, among which are the principles of transparency and publicity, efficiency and economy, the focus on objectivity, the principle of equality, and the principle of hierarchy.

Among the novelties is the creation of the National Institute for the Custody and Administration of Seized, Confiscated and Forfeited Assets (INCABIDE), provided with legal personality, with administrative, financial, and technical autonomy, attached to the Ministry of Finance, as the body responsible for the Administration and destination of the assets.

A Board of Directors will form INCABIDE with normative, deliberative, and control functions and an Executive Directorate with administrative functions. The Board of Directors shall be composed of the Minister of Finance, who shall preside over it, the Attorney General of the Republic, the Minister of Economy, Planning and Development, and the Executive Director of INCABIDE, who shall act as Secretary of the Board of Directors with voice, but without the right to vote.

On the other hand, in Article 25, the law states that once the Public Ministry carries out the seizure or confiscation of goods, directly or by court order, as the case may be, it will proceed to deliver such goods to INCABIDE, with specific rules and exceptions, as is the case for example with drugs, arms and ammunition seized, confiscated, forfeited or whose ownership has been declared extinct, which will remain under the control of the Public Ministry, which will proceed with them by the legal provisions on the matter.

Regarding seized or confiscated goods, it is stated that INCABIDE, for reasons of public interest or the needs of criminal investigations, may grant provisional institutional use to public entities under the conditions and with the exceptions in the law.

The draft bill also provides for the creation of a Special Fund for Confiscated and Extinguished Assets (FEBIDE), under the Administration of INCABIDE, composed of the extinguished or confiscated monies, the monies resulting from the sale of the extinguished or seized assets, the funds resulting from anticipated sales of assets that have subsequently been extinguished or confiscated, etc.

Once the fund is formed, it will be used to pay the expenses related to the Administration of the assets or any other fee or obligation generated by the assets, as well as the payment to third parties in good faith, the payments to victims ordered by judicial sentence, among others. The remaining money will be deposited in a Single Treasury Account. The central government may use the funds to support, strengthen, finance, develop or execute drug prevention or treatment programs, poverty reduction, protect or support minors, support and protect victims of criminal offenses, and border protection, among others, always in strict compliance with the principles of transparency and publicity.

As stated by President Abinader when submitting the regulatory proposal to the National Congress, this new law adjusts its provisions to the current Constitutional mandates, to the recent law of extinction of ownership, and the interest and commitment of the present Administration with the institutional strengthening and the increase of the levels of transparency and administrative efficiency.

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