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Country Profile - Slovakia


Development of legislation
Controlled substances
Drug use and possession
Trafficking and drug-related crime
Prosecution and practice
Prevention, care and treatment
Harm reduction
Precursors
Money laundering and confiscation
New developments
Links
References


Development of legislation

The criminal legal basis of the fight against drugs in the Slovak Republic consists of the strategy of punishing the drug dealers, traffickers and those who help legalise the profits of criminal drug activities. 

The new Criminal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure were adopted after finalization of the recodification commissions continual activity in year 2005 and came into force on 1 January 2006.

Legal provisions governing unlawful possession and handling of drugs are regulated in the new Criminal Code No. 300/2005 Coll.

The most important changes include provisions governing criminal liability for the possession of drugs for own consumption (Sections 171 and 135 of the Criminal Code) and trafficking in drugs (Section 172 of the Criminal Code). 

The provisions of Sections 171 and 172 of the Criminal Code define the criminal offence of illicit production of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, poisons or precursors, their possession and trafficking in them.

Previously, possession of drugs for personal use, defined as no more than a one-shot dose, was punished by up to 3 years’ imprisonment. Under the new s.171, two offences are created: possession for own consumption (now defined in s.135 as no more than three times one single dose), which has a maximum 3-year sentence; and possession of a larger amount for own consumption (defined as no more than ten times one single dose), which has a maximum 5-year sentence. More than this must result in a charge under the new s.172, which has a sentence range of 4-10 years if there are no aggravating factors. Two new penalties can also be given to those charged with possession for personal use: monitored home imprisonment for up to one year, or community service of 40 to 300 hours. 

For trafficking, the sentence ranges are determined partly by the street value of the drugs involved, as regulated by s.125(1). They are now 4-10 years for a basic offence, 10-15 years for a larger amount (with a street value of over 10 times the “baseline” amount of 8000 Skk / approx. 200 Euros), 15-20 years if on a considerable scale (over 100 times), and 20-25 years or life imprisonment if on a large scale (over 500 times).

Mutual legal assistance with foreign countries in criminal matters is regulated particularly in Sections 477 to Section 552 of the Code of Criminal Procedure No 301/2005 Coll. 

The principles of anti-drug policy have been declared in the National Programme for the Fight against Drugs for 2004 – 2008. The Slovak Government approved the third NPFD for 2004 – 2008 at its 81st session on 15 April 2004, and the PARLIAMENT took note of the Programme by Resolution No. 1072 of 25 June 2004.

The main objective of the NPFD is to develop effective instruments for preventing further deterioration of the situation in the area of drug abuse and drug addiction of Slovak citizens, with emphasis on children and youth.

The NPFD takes account of experience and knowledge derived from the implementation of the objectives and aims of the preceding national strategies. It aims at developing a comprehensive and coordinated society-wide approach and responsibility for addressing the drug problem. It responds to changes in the trends and to the growing threat of the increased use of cannabis, production and abuse of new samples, especially of synthetic drugs. It creates favourable environment for applying effective methods of preventing the occurrence and dissemination of drug addictions, suppression of drug production, transit and trafficking, mobilises the activities and increases the share of regional and local resources. The objectives of the Programme are to be attained through the acceptance of responsibility for the tasks of antidrug policy by all levels of the society. In the process of implementing drug strategy, an increasingly important role is to be played by self-governing authorities.

The importance of international cooperation has grown, especially in connection with accession of the Slovak Republic to the European Union. It strengthens the role of non-governmental organizations and civic activities, and the need for active involvement of the civil society into dealing with the drug problem.

Coordination and institutional framework is as follows: 

The Slovak Government adopted Resolution No. 583 of 8 August 1995 setting up the Committee of Ministers for Drug Addiction and Drug Control as a coordinating, advisory, initiative-taking and control body for the Government’s drug policy and fight against drugs. The above Resolution approved also the Statute of the Committee that sets out the details of work of the Committee and its organization. The Committee consists of fourteen members; its chairman is Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration, Human Rights and Minorities, vice-chairmen are the Minister of Health and the Minister of Education, and its members are individual ministers and the Prosecutor General. The Committee meets twice a year to evaluate the drug scene and to define principal lines of the drug strategy that it submits to the Slovak Government.

The General Secretariat of the Committee of Ministers for Drug Addiction and Drug Control (hereinafter referred to as the “GS CM DADC”) was set up within the Office of the Government of the Slovak Republic in order to act as the executive body of the Committee, responsible for implementing its conclusions and for coordinating anti-drug activities at the level of ministries and central state administration authorities. The GS CM DADC fulfils the tasks connected with organizational, administrative and technical support for the Committee; it represents the Slovak Republic within international bodies, organizations and institutions in connection with drug issues; maintains international relations, initiates and secures the transfer of information and data between individual sectors and to relevant international bodies, organizations and institutions. Four expert commissions have been set up within the GS CM DADC:

-         for the treatment and social reintegration of drug addicts,

-         for the prevention of drug addiction, 

-         for legislative issues and law enforcement in the area of the fight against drugs,

-         for communication strategies in the area of the fight against drugs, 

The Anti-Drug Fund established under Act No. 381/1996 Coll. (with effect from 1 January 1997) is a non-state special-purpose fund designed to pool and allocate financial resources in the areas of drug prevention, treatment and social reintegration of drug addicts. The supreme body of the Fund is its Board which decides about the allocation of financial resources.

In the field of public administration, specialized units were set up within individual ministries for the fight against drugs and drug addiction, or the ministries appointed specific staff members whose job descriptions include – depending on the ministry’s competence – prevention, treatment, and social reintegration of drug-dependent persons. These units perform mainly activities oriented on the reduction of drug supply and demand.

Regional and District Anti-Drug Commissions

Established by the governmental decision in 1997.

Controlled substances

According to the Slovak legal framework, controlled substances are listed in the Act No. 139/1998 "Collection of laws on Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Matters and Substances" that came into effect on June 1st 1999, in three categories, which include salts of narcotic drugs whenever they exist.  The objective of this law is to strictly define conditions for cultivation, producing, control, stock-out, distribution, application for scientific purposes and research, export and import and transit of controlled substances.  The general criterion for classification is the health impact of a particular substance.  Nevertheless these controlled substances can be included or excluded from each of the categories in relation to a UN decision.  The cultivation of poppy seeds is regulated by legally defined conditions, and cultivation of cocaine and cannabis is prohibited with the exception of cultivation for industrial purposes. The Amendent No. 13/2004 Coll. introduced an altered annexe I. with the aim to harmonize the provisions with the relevant UN Resolutions.

Drug use and possession

Section 171 of the Criminal Code provides penalty of up to three years of imprisonment for unlawful possession of a of a narcotic drug, psychotropic substance, poison or precursor for own consumption. Section  135 of the Criminal Code defines possession for personal use as a unlawful possession for own consumption of a narcotic drug, psychotropic substance, poison or precursor for any length of time in the amount that corresponds to no more than three times one single dose. Possession of a larger amount of narcotic drug, psychotropic substance, poison or precursor for own consumption means illicit possession for own consumption of a narcotic drug, psychotropic substance, poison or precursor for any length of time in the amount that corresponds to no more than ten times one single dose (maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment ).

The legal norm Act No. 372/1990 Coll. of Laws as amended on offences (administrative) punishes (in an administrative way) use of alcohol and drugs under conditions of professional occupation and if there could be a danger to health or property. 

Trafficking and drug-related crime

The current criminal legislation on the fight against trafficking in drugs and psychotropic substances is covered by Sections 172, 173 and 174 of Criminal Code. Under S. 172 an offender can be held liable to sanction of 4 to 10 years of imprisonment   if he unlawfully  manufactures,  imports, exports, transports or causes to be transported, purchases, sells, exchanges, procures, or possesses for any length of time a narcotic drug, a psychotropic substance, poison or precursor, or if such person  brokers such activity. The penalty rises to a range of 10 to 15 years of imprisonment if the offender commits such offence  and had already been convicted for the same type of offence or he commits it in respect of a person in drug treatment, or by a more serious breach of conduct or  against a protected person  or at a larger scale.  The offender shall be punished by sanction of imprisonment between 15 to 20 years if he commits the offence referred before  and causes a grievous bodily harm or death thereby, or against a person under fifteen years of age, or through the intermediary of such person, or at a considerable scale. The sanction of imprisonment between 20 to 25 years or life imprisonment shall be imposed if the offender commits the offence and causes a grievous bodily harm to several persons or the death of several persons thereby, or as a member of a dangerous grouping, or at a large scale. Section 173 regulates the offence of production and possession of precursors with the range of sanction of imprisonment from 1 to 5 years and from 10 to 15 years depending on the profit obtained.

Finally, Section 174 provides for an offence of "spreading substance abuse", including incitement, which is liable for a sentence of 1-5 years in prison, or 3-8 years if committed against a protected person (under 18 or other forms of vulnerability) or in public . 

The addictive substance  is defined in Section 130 para. 5 of the Criminal  Code and means alcohol, narcotic substances, psychotropic substances and other substances capable of adversely influencing a person's psyche or his or her selfcontrol or recognition abilities or social behaviour.   According to Section 141 of the Criminal Code   "dangerous  group" means criminal group or a terrorist group. 

Any trade in drugs that is in contradiction with the Act No. 139/1998 Coll. of Laws on Narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors is considered to be illicit and so is considered as "trafficking in drugs or psychotropic substances".  The only three groups of exceptions are for medical and chemical purposes under special license, by the agriculture producers on the base of a special license, and possession by a Police Corps according to special law.  

According to the NPFD, drug supply reduction and law enforcement area includes the objectives:

·         To adopt effective measures to prevent penetration of drugs to the territory, to reveal organised groups committing the criminal activity of illicit drug trafficking, to reveal cash flows related to committing of drug criminal activity and leading to legalisation of the illegal profit, and measures to eliminate distribution of drugs to end users.

is prepared to participate in the exchange of information on the chemical profiling of drugs to facilitate improved co-operation between Member States in combating illicit drug trafficking (Joint Action of 29 November 1996 adopted by the Council on the basis of Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union).  This activity has been included into Order No. 44/2000 by the Minister of Interior concerning the co-ordination of activities and development of information flows in the area of fight against drugs.  also achieved preparation of an internal standard, Binding Instruction No. CH-152-A/2001 issued by the Institute of Criminalistics and Expertise of the Police Force, concerning the national database of intercepted tablet forms of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS), which regulates the profiling of synthetic drugs and provision of information to the Drug Unit of Europol.

On 15 August 2001, the Government expressed its consent with the ratification of the Council of Europe Agreement on Illicit Traffic by Sea, which implements Article 17 of the UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances; further steps toward ratification are currently being taken.

Prosecution and practice

Under the new definition laid down in the new Code of Criminal Procedure No. 301/2005 Coll., the authorities acting in criminal procedure are prosecutors and police officers. Police officers are investigators and designated members of the Police Corps, military police, the Corps of Prison and Court Guard, the Railway Police, designated customs authorities, and the commanders of sea-going vessels (hereinafter referred to as “designated police officers”).

Courts are no longer included among the authorities acting in criminal procedure; this increases the impartiality of courts and their independence on other state authorities.

·        Police officers

Police officers referred to in Section 10 paragraph 8 (b) to (g) of the Code of Criminal Procedure have the authority to conduct criminal prosecution in cases involving illicit production of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, poisons or precursors according to Section 170 paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code.

·        Police Corps investigators

Police Corps investigators conduct criminal prosecution in other “drug-related” offences.

·        Prosecutors

Prosecutors oversee compliance with the laws prior to the commencement of prosecution and in pre-trial proceedings.

When performing the supervision, prosecutors have the authority to:

a/ issue binding instructions for investigation and summary investigation of criminal offences,

b/ request the files from police officers for review purposes,

c/ participate in the execution of tasks by police officers, personally perform any of these tasks or even the entire investigation or summary investigation, and issue decisions on any matter,

d/ return the case to police officers along with instructions for additional investigation,

e/ reverse unlawful or unjustified decisions or measures taken by police officers,

f/ withdraw any case from a police officer and take steps to assign the case to another police officer,

g/ order, where the circumstances so warrant, full investigation into a matter that is subject to summary investigation.

§        Prosecution office – General Prosecution Office of the Slovak Republic

An important role in the fight against drugs is played by the Prosecution Office. Its competencies are provided for under Act No. 153/2001 Coll. on Prosecution as amended. The Prosecution Office has the obligation to take measures within the scope of its authority to prevent violations of law, detect and eliminate violations of law, restore infringed rights and enforce liability for their infringement. In exercising its authority, the prosecution office uses all the lawful means to ensure a consistent, effective and expedient protection of rights and lawfully protected interests of natural persons, legal persons, and of the state, without any interference.

The prosecution office exercises its authority through the intermediary of prosecutors who

-      conduct criminal prosecution against persons suspected of the commission of criminal offences, and overseeing compliance with the law prior to the institution of criminal proceedings under a separate law, and in pre-trial proceedings,

-          oversee compliance with the law in the places of detention of persons deprived of their liberty or persons whose personal liberty is restricted by the decision of a court or other competent State authority,

-          exercise their powers in judicial proceedings,

-          represent the state in judicial proceedings where so provided under a separate law,

-          oversee legal compliance by public administration authorities within the scope set out under this act,

-          participate in the preparation and implementation of preventive measures aimed at suppressing violations of laws and of other generally binding legal regulations,

-          participate in the elimination of root causes of and conditions for crime, in the prevention and suppression of crime,

-          participate in the drafting of legislation,

-          fulfill other tasks where so provided by a separate law or an international treaty promulgated in a manner prescribed by law.

·        Courts

If the prosecutor does not terminate prosecution in pre-trial proceedings against a person accused, inter alia, of a drug-related offence, he files a plea bargaining proposal or an indictment to the court. In such case, the matter is heard and decided by the competent court.

The National Anti-Drug Unit created in 1995 within the Interior Ministry’s Criminal Police Office of the Police Corps Presidium gradually expanded its scope of competence and the fight against drugs became part of the fight against organised crime; this fact was also reflected in its changed name – National Anti-Drug Unit of the Office for the Fight against Organised Crime of the Police Corps Presidium. The Unit directly performs police actions aimed at the detection of drug-related organised crime and at the cooperation with police services in addressing drug-related organised crime; performs intelligence, analytical, documentation and implementation work in the area of drug-related organised crime; gathers, processes and analyses information concerning drug-related organised crime; ensures cooperation with foreign drug services in addressing drug-related organised crime; ensures execution of letters rogatory in connection with controlled deliveries, imports and transits.

Anti-drug units created under Parliament’s Act No. 222/1996 Coll. within Regional Police Corps Directorates were transformed into anti-drug units within the departments for the fight against organised crime. Their role is to clarify criminal offences involving production, possession and especially the distribution of drugs; to carry out measures designed to disclose drug-related organised crime; to cooperate with state administration authorities in disclosing and documenting drug-related crime; to identify its perpetrators, and organize preventive measures; to detect and clarify root causes of and conditions for drug-related crime.

Expert assessments of narcotic and psychotropic substances seized by Police Corps and Customs Directorate units in the entire territory of the country and its borders are performed by the Institute of Forensic Science of the Police Corps Presidium. The Institute also ensures the disposal of seized drugs and supplies summary statistics on seized materials to the UN body responsible for UN activities in the area of drug control (UNODC) and to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB).

Prevention, care and treatment

Re-codified Criminal  Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure altered the entire concept of imposing criminal sanctions.  In the scope of the drafted document, imprisonment shall be imposed as ultima ratio.  The institution that creates conditions for enforcement of alternative methods in the Criminal Procedure and also assure the execution of the alternative sanctions is the Probation and Mediation Agency. The Act on Probation and Mediation officers was adopted and came into effect on 1st January 2004 (No. 550/2003 Coll).

The conditions creating the application of alternative procedures in Criminal Procedure and securing the effective execution of alternative sanctions is the basis of the probation activities. Probation shall make the application of the alternative sanctions more effective.  The aggrieved person‘s status is also very important; the person should participate in solving problems brought about by the criminal offence committed. 

The Criminal Code also introduced two new types of penalties that may be applied also in case of persons possessing drugs for own consumption. These penalties are community service and home imprisonment.

 The court may impose a home imprisonment penalty of up to one year in case of perpetrators of minor offences. Any person serving the sentence of home imprisonment must, during such time as determined by the court, stay in his own dwelling including its outer areas, lead a law-abiding life, and suffer to be controlled by technical means where such control has been imposed.

The court may impose a community service sentence of 40 to 300 hours with the consent of the offender sentenced for a minor offence punishable by deprivation of liberty of five years or less.

Protective Treatment is defined and regulated in Section 73 of  Criminal  Code.  It is imposed either obligatory or facultatively, and it is not considered as a sanction, only having a protective and medical nature. Protective treatment shall be imposed in defined cases such as if the perpetrator of a criminal act is not criminally liable because of insanity or diminished responsibility and his remaining at liberty could be dangerous, or if the offence is committed under the influence of a substance or in connection with its abuse. 

The court can impose the Protective treatment in addition to a sentence or when it waives the imposition of a sentence.  When the protective treatment is imposed in addition to imprisonment it will usually commence after the accused starts serving his term.  In other cases the treatment shall be provided in a medical institution.  If the character of the disease and the prospects of treatment give sufficient grounds to believe that the purpose of the treatment could be reached also on an out-patient basis, the court may impose such type of treatment or may replace institutional treatment with an out-patient treatment at a later stage (or vice versa).  The Protective treatment shall be provided for as long as it is required for the attainment of its purpose.  The decision on discharging the person from the Protective treatment shall be taken by a court.   

Sections 51-52 of the Criminal Code regulate the conditions of the imposition of conditional sentence with a probational supervision .   The court shall conditionally waive a penalty shorter than 3 years and  the trial period shall be from 1 to 5 years , the court can impose certain limitations or obligations for an offender.  

Section 39 of the Criminal  Code regulates conditions for an exceptional reduction of a sentence of imprisonment.  This may happen if, given the circumstances of the case or personal characteristics of the offender, it is the court's belief that imposition of imprisonment pursuant to the legislation would be too severe and that it is possible to attain the purpose of punishment also by a shorter term.  In such cases, the court may reduce the term of imprisonment below the minimum rate set out in the Criminal  Code, according to certain limits.

On 1st January 1997 the Act No. 381/1996 Coll. of Laws on Anti drug fund came into force, which allows for the allocation of financial resources to anti-drug programmes and projects, primarily to NGOs.

Act no. 195/1999 Coll. on the Social Help, where various condition, forms and settings for the implementation of a social prevention and for provision of social help to persons in need are explicitly defined. In this law re-socialisation and rehabilitation facilities are also defined, together with necessary conditions to be fulfilled for license granting. This law will, after amendments, create conditions for the crisis intervention and perhaps also a network of  low threshold facilities - activities which, however, must be closely co-ordinated with the health care sector and its treatment facilities, as stated in the paragraph on resocialisation in the new National Programme for the Fight against Drugs.

Act No. 36/2005 Coll. on Family and on amending and supplementing certain other laws lays down the competence of courts to impose educational measures and, in exceptional cases, to rule that a child be temporarily removed from parental custody (or from the custody of other persons who are taking or have been entrusted care of a minor child), even against the will of the parents, and to order that such minor child be placed in a diagnostic or specialised facility. In serious drug addiction cases, the court may order that a minor child be placed in a social reintegration centre for drug addicts.

Act No. 581/2004 Coll. on Health Insurance Companies, Supervision over Healthcare and on amending and supplement certain other laws created the Healthcare Supervision Office, which performs the following activities in the area of public administration:

-         supervision over public health insurance,

-         supervision over the provision of healthcare (purchasing and standards of provided services – including services of necroptic units)

In the Health Ministry sector, drug addiction issues fall within the remit of the Mental Health Department, Department of Chief Hygienist of the Slovak Republic , and Chief Specialist on Drug Addictions at the Health Ministry of the Slovak Republic .

The education sector pays special attention to school-based prevention, directly in the teaching process and through educational establishments set up under Act No. 279/1993 Coll. on Educational Establishments, in particular:

-          educational prevention facilities that provide professional assistance to children coming from the environment that has failed to provide for their social or educational needs, and children with disorders of psychosocial development, and cooperate in this process with the families with a view to preserve and improve their functions. Activities of prevention establishments are aimed at protecting the children from social pathologies,

-          counselling establishments that provide professional services in the area of educational counselling, special pedagogy counselling, and care for children.

According to the NPFD, the area of Drug demand reduction has nine main objectives, which include adoption of efficient measures to improve conditions for protective and voluntary treatment in the course of imprisonment, and to establish departments with elements of drug-free therapeutic community regimen also in prison facilities.  It also includes development of a programme of effective short-term treatment or counselling in withdrawal of marihuana using the most recent knowledge.

Harm reduction

No specific law on regulations of syringe and needle exchanges exists in Slovakia. However the programs of harm reduction for injection drug users (connecting to social work, specialized social counselling or help to undergo the crises mainly realized in open public places) are carried out under the Act No. 305/2005 Coll. on the Social Legal Protection of Children and Social Guardianship. These programs are operated by five non-governmental agencies. Syringe and needle exchange can be carrying out also by specialized drug treatment centres. Finally syringes and needles are accessible by public pharmacies for payment. There are no needle and syringe exchange programmes in Slovak prisons.

The legal basis for substitution treatment have been represented by “Professional Guidelines on standards for diagnostics and therapy in drug addiction area” in Ministry of Health Gazette (2003, unit 21-27, no.45) together with “Methodological Instruction on providing methadone maintaining therapy for opiate addictive patients with persistent development of disease” in Ministry of Health Gazette (2004, unit 21-27, no.31) and “Ministry of Health Measure on Full or partly reimbursement of medicines and medications on basis of public health insurance” (2011, OPL0311-SO9056-OL-2011). Methadone is used for substitution treatments. Buprenorphine is subject to general medication legal norms (as well as public health insurance reimbursement norms) with no substitution treatment programme legal framework. The Ministry of Health measure aforementioned issues a list of medicines and medications fully or partially covered on basis of public health insurance and provides that methadone can be prescribed by doctors in treatment, private general practitioners and treatment centres. General practitioners, on recommendation of psychiatrist, can prescribe it. According to article III of the 2003 Instruction aforementioned, substitution treatments are restricted to patients over 18 even if exceptions are admissible by persons of 15-18 years after recommendation of special commission. This text also provides conditions for take-home doses and allows daily dose for maximum 3 days, ie a person (in a stage of stabilization), has to be under supervision at least 2 times per week. There are no substitution treatments available in Slovakian prisons.

Precursors

The List of Precursors is integrated to the first, second and the third category according to the Act No. 219/2003 Coll. Act No. 219/2003 Coll. on the Handling of Chemical Substances that May Be Misused for Illicit Production of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and on amending Act No. 455/1991 Coll. on Trade Licences (trade licence law) as amended sets out the requirements governing the production, market introduction, use of chemical substances that may be diverted for illicit production of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances including their import, export, transit and transportation with a view to prevent their misuse for illicit production of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and preparations containing such substances. The Act also lays down the obligations of entities handling specified substances, sanctions for violations of the Act, and competencies of state administration authorities relative to specified substances.

The state administration competences in the area of Precursors is represented by the Ministry of Health, Ministry of the Economy, Ministry of Interior and Custom authorities. 

Money laundering and confiscation

On 5 October 2000 the National Council of the Slovak Republic adopted a new Act on protection against legalising incomes from criminal action and on amendment of certain acts, which entered into force on 1 January 2001.  This law established such notions as unusual business operation, obligation of financial entities to report such operations, and supervision over the observance of laws and sanctions.  It also deals with client identification in banking operations.  The new act implements the Council of European Communities‘ Directive 91/308/EEC of 10 June 1991 on prevention of use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering, the Action Plan to combat organised crime No. 97/C251/01, the Council of Europe Convention on laundering, search, seizure and confiscation of the proceeds from crime 1990, and the 40 FATF recommendations on money laundering. 

In the new act the process of sanctioning is regulated by the Criminal  Code and Code of the Criminal Procedure.  It also defines specific duties of several legal entities i.e. duty of identification, duty of keeping data, duty to report and the duty of confidence. 

Section 2 defines "legalisation of incomes from criminal action"as a use or other disposal with an income or other property acquired or reasonably suspicious of being acquired from criminal action or participation in a criminal action carried on the territory of the Slovak Republic or outside the territory of the Slovak Republic .

The terms "money laundering" and "legalisation of incomes from criminal action" are basically identical - the reason for both is conformity with standards of the Slovak nomenclature of law.

The act determines only elementary features of the term money laundering; there are no particular enumerations of forms or procedures of money laundering in consideration of the dynamic and complex phenomenon.  However, the definition of money laundering meets the requirements of the definition in the Council Directive. Act No. 445/2002 Coll. which amended the above mentioned Act modified its provisions with the aim to harmonize the national legislation with the FATF criterions and with the Directive 2001/97/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 December 2001, as well.

Sections 233 and  234 of the Criminal  Code criminalizes money laundering as an offence of legalisation of the proceeds from criminal activity . 

Obligatory subjects of the new money laundering act are:

·         banks, Export-Import banks, branches of a foreign bank,

·         administration companies or depositories, organisers of the securities market, securities traders, insurance companies, commodity exchanges,

·         post offices, auditors, tax advisors,

·         legal entities or individual persons who are entitled to carry out auctions except of executions, financial leasing,

·         casino operators, bookmakers, real estate agents, exchange offices, deposit houses,

·         legal entities operating lotteries or other gambling operations.

Those subject to the law have to identify every person who prepares or realises an unusual business operation or any business activity exceeding the value of €15000, according to the principle "know one's own client".  They shall:

·         consider whether the prepared or realised business transaction is unusual

·         refuse to execute such unusual transaction

·         enable access to all documents to financial police

·         provide data to the financial police on a written request within a defined time period

The Financial Police Office is an organisational part of Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic and it is responsible for detecting and documentation of serious economic crimes, receiving, registration, analysing, systematic reporting of unusual transactions.  This authority plays a key role in the Slovak anti money laundering system.  Within this, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) was established on 1 November 1996 as result of recommendations of the Council of Europe, the European Commission and Interpol.  The main role of FIU is to perform initial screening of transactions and, based on the outcome, report the findings to the relevant departments of the Financial Police Office or other services of the Police Force for the purpose of documenting potential suspicion of a criminal offence.

Sections 58 and 59  allows the court to order confiscation of Property if it sentences the accused to life imprisonment or to unconditional imprisonment of a exceptional serious offence through which the offender acquired or tried to acquire the property of large scale or through which he caused a damage of large scale, taking into consideration circumstances of committed offence.  The court shall impose this sanction obligatory without necessity of taking into account mentioned conditions if it sentences the offender for one of defined criminal offences; this list includes criminal offence in Section 172 para. 2, 3 or 4 (trafficking in drugs  ) and Section 233 (money laundering).      

It may include all or part of the property of the convicted person, except for that which is necessary to support the offender or dependents.    

Section 60 of the Criminal Code enables confiscation of a thing if that object was used or determined to commitment of a crime, or obtained by the crime or as a remuneration for the committing, or obtained by the offender in exchange for such object mentioned before.  However the object has to belong to the offender and it becomes the property of the State.  Section 83 of the Criminal Code contains the provisions about forfeiture of a thing as a protective measure, if confiscation of a thing  was not imposed for certain reasons.

In the Code of Criminal Procedure, Section 461 relates the procedure for forfeiture of a thing  , Section 91 - diminution of an object; Section 95 - securing of an account; Sections 425 to 427 –confiscation of a property , Section 428 –confiscation of a thing,   Section 551 - securing of an object or a property on a request of an authority of a foreign country.

New developments

Currently there was submitted draft amendment to the Criminal Code in order to carry out transposition of  Council Framework Decision 2005/212/JHA of 24 February 2005 on Confiscation of Crime-Related Proceeds, Instrumentalities and Property which regulates the obligation of member states to adopt legislative measures in order to enable confiscation of property for listed offences, among other offences introduced by  Council Framework Decision 2004/757/JHA of 25 October 2004 laying down minimum provisions on the constituent elements of criminal acts and penalties in the field of illicit drug trafficking . The draft shall also introduce a possibilty of imposing criminal Law measures to legal entities.

The amendment  on Act No. 139/1998 Coll. on Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Preparations as amended curerently discussed in Parliament includes the  mCPP substance as a part of a list of controlled substances.

Links

Original texts of Slovak law can be found at the web site of Ministry of Justice (system JASPI):

http://jaspiw2.justice.gov.sk/jaspiw1/jaspiw_maxi_fr0.htm

The Government's site dedicated to the drug issue can be found here –

http://www.infodrogy.sk

References

This text has been revised by Mr Alexander Kunosik, state counsellor at the Legislative Department of the Ministry of Justice.


Page last updated: Monday, 19 March 2012