The Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009 (the ‘Act’) came into effect in December 2009. The stated objective of the Act is to “provide a legislative framework for the confiscation of property from persons who have engaged in or profited from criminal activity”. The underlying premise being that a person should not be allowed to benefit from criminal activity. It is reported that since the Act’s introduction the police have seized $11 million of the identified $36 million worth of assets that they believe have been obtained through criminal activity. The Act has repealed the Proceeds of Crime Act 1991, and introduced a new civil forfeiture regime similar to those introduced in the last decade in Australia, Canada, Ireland and the UK. Under the new Act, the Serious Fraud Office is now able to apply to the High Court to freeze a person’s assets and then apply for a forfeiture order to seize the frozen money or assets. The Crown must prove, on the balance of probabilities, that the person has benefited from significant criminal activity, whether the offending has been proven in Court or not. Unless the person can prove the assets in question have been acquired legitimately, they will be forfeited. The Act allows criminal gangs to be stripped of their assets and the profits of their criminal activities. The recovered proceeds are then returned to the Crown who in turn have stated they will use them to fund anti-P initiatives, expand police and customs initiatives to combat gangs and provide additional drug treatment programs. The police say this will be a major step in assisting them to dismantle organized crime. It is also hoped that the stripping of assets will act as a disincentive to criminals and will disrupt their ability to finance future illegal activity.