R.T. Naylor



License to Loot: A Critique of Follow-the-Money Methods in Crime Control Policy

Naylor’s critique of asset-forfeiture law suggests the possibility of transforming security functions into profit-making ventures. Originally intended to attack the flow of criminal profits, asset-forfeiture laws are converting police forces into self-financing bounty-hunting organizations. Operating through multilateral organizations such as the United Nations and OECD, the United States has pressured governments into adopting legal statutes that are, in effect, a recipe for corruption. Everyone agrees with the fundamental principle that criminals should not profit from their crimes. Yet, no real consensus exists on how large the problem of criminal money flows is, on why society is worse off when criminals, rather than legitimate business people, consume, save, or invest, or on the level of “collateral damage” society should be called upon to accept in the name of a war on criminal profits.

police, police asset seizures; crime and criminals — organized crime; criminal forfeiture; money laundering; restitution

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 28, No. 3 (2001): 121-152