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News > Ecuador

Ecuador: Lawmakers Vote a Bill to Seize Goods of Illicit Origin

  • Ex President Abdala Bucaram arrested for acts of corruption, Ecuador, Jun. 4, 2020.

    Ex President Abdala Bucaram arrested for acts of corruption, Ecuador, Jun. 4, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @eluniversocom

Published 19 January 2021

Properties obtained through acts of corruption would be confiscated even if they were obtained prior to the approval of the law.

Ecuador's Parliament Tuesday is set to vote on a bill aimed at recovering assets of illicit origin or obtained through acts of corruption.


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The bill needs the favorable vote of 70 lawmakers in order to be passed. If approved, President Lenin Moreno will have 30 days to issue a partial or total veto.  

Once published in the Official Gazette, the new regulations will apply the "retrospective principle" which allows freezing assets of illicit origin. 

Lawmaker Mae Montaño noted that 70 percent of the resources recovered through this law would be destined to the health and education sectors while the other 30 percent will be used by a new administrative entity in charge to manage the seized assets.

The bill contemplates two phases to conduct the confiscation process, one of them will be carried out by the Public Prosecutor's Office. The regulations established that the only way to extinguish a person's right to such goods is through a sentence.

A fund would be created and deposited in a sub-account of the national treasury so that these resources would not be part of the general budget or destined to the government's expenditure.

Lawyer Pablo Encalada questioned the inclusion of the retrospective principle given the fact that current laws already contemplate preventive measures such as illicit goods' sale prohibition, retention, and seizure, adding that it was necessary to improve administrative procedures.

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