In the Netherlands, several organisations cooperate in carrying out the process of the seizure, storage and processing of seized goods from start to finish.
The investigative authority
The Public Prosecution Service is a government organisation that is officially engaged in preserving law and order and other duties regulated by law. In practice, the Public Prosecution Service is responsible for investigating criminal offences and prosecuting any person committing a criminal offence.
The Public Prosecution Service is the only body in the Netherlands that may decide to prosecute a citizen or company on suspicion of a criminal offence. It is also the only body authorised to seize goods under criminal law.
Every year, the Public Prosecution Service seizes tens of thousands of goods owned by citizens and companies in the Netherlands. Goods may be seized under criminal law for a variety of reasons. In some cases they are seized for the examination of trace evidence, and in other cases the purpose is to take away the gains obtained from criminal acts. And in yet other cases, a person is deprived of property because this property is not permitted in society.
The investigation services
The bodies authorised to seize goods are laid down in the Dutch Code of Criminal Procedure. These are the National Police and the ‘Special Investigation Services’: FIOD (the Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service), ILT (the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate), ISZW (the Inspectorate SZW) and NVWA (the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority).
DRZ is the statutory sequestrator of most of the goods seized.
Many logistic acts are required to perform this sequestrator duty. DRZ picks up the seized goods from the temporary repositories of the National Police.
All goods stored by DRZ are valued by DRZ upon arrival. This valuation is required for criminal prosecution.
To perform these duties, DRZ has two large storage sites at its disposal in Hoogeveen and Bleiswijk, where the goods are kept. DRZ also has a ‘BRZO location’ to process any fireworks seized.
A public prosecutor at the Public Prosecution Service tells DRZ what to do with the seized goods: store them, destroy them, return them to their owner or sell them.
Finally, DRZ dismantles illegal hemp farms on the instructions of the Public Prosecution Service and the National Police.
More information: Openbaar Ministerie (Public Prosecution Service)