EU Seeks Minimum Prison Term For `Serious' Counterfeiting

The European Union wants to require minimum prison terms of at least six months for “serious” counterfeiting offenses, according to new plans released today.

“The euro is the world’s second-most important currency and we will take all necessary steps to stop it from being targeted by criminals,” said EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding in a statement.

Mandatory prison terms for offenders are part of a broader effort to stamp out counterfeiting put forward by the Brussels- based European Commission. The proposals also call for more law enforcement cooperation and for common definitions of crimes and sanctions across the EU.

Under the proposal, offences involving at least 10,000 euros ($13,500) or other “particularly serious” circumstances would trigger prison terms of six months to eight years. Offences involving at least 5,000 euros would also draw jail terms, and offences involving lesser amounts could be handled using other penalties, such as fines.

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