U.S. Appellate Court Upholds Forfeiture of Currency and Travelers Checks

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Sunday, May 1, 1994
On February 22, 1994, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the forfeiture of currency and travelers checks seized from Joseph Efiong Etim who later pled guilty to transporting monetary instruments outside the U.S. without filing appropriate reports. The court affirmed that the forfeiture did not violate the double jeopardy clause and was not excessive in violation of the Eighth Amendment, and that currency was an instrument of crime subject to forfeiture. The decision indicates that, despite some of the setbacks in U.S. courts to law enforcement authorities, civil forfeiture in the U.S. remains a powerful and practical mechanism against crime, especially drug-related crime. ..[more]