Whose crime money is this?

It has emerged that the Justice Ministry is experiencing major problems in relation to the management of crime money, cash that is seized during police investigations.

The monies are managed by a special service until a court can deliver its ruling. Until now the service didn't even possess an accountant or a computer programme.

The service's new director Thierry Freyne explained that as a result it was not very easy to keep tabs on where all the money had come from: "I can tell you how much money we have on our account. However, it's more important to be able to tell you the destination and the origin of these funds. This requires a very transparent accounting system. We should be able to say these funds are linked to this or that case. That's so that we can return the right amount or transfer it to the treasury if a judge rules that it is forfeited."

Belgium's last Justice Minister Stefaan De Clerck did start a procedure that should lead to the recruitment of an accountant and to the purchase a computer programme. Until this has happened the service's director is unwilling to say how much cash is involved.