Vic laws to undercut crypto-savvy crims

·2-min read

Cryptocurrency platforms will be forced to reveal information about Victoria Police suspects under proposed new laws.

The confiscation laws introduced to state parliament on Tuesday give authorities power to make the platforms comply, bringing them into line with similar laws in place for banks.

Digital "wallets" can be seized and police will be able to take copies from computers and storage devices, and bring in specialists like locksmiths to help them execute search warrants.

Convictions for possessing a trafficable quantity of firearms, along with drug and sexual offences, will automatically trigger the forfeiture of assets.

The bill will also let police more easily assume false identities to investigate child grooming.

"The way criminals operate is changing rapidly - we need to be just as quick in empowering our police to respond to new ways of offending, crack down on crime and keep the community safe," Police Minister Anthony Carbines said.

The laws will streamline court oversight of warrant execution and victims will be paid more compensation from forfeited property.

Along with the government's new police laws, Derryn Hinch's Justice Party MP Tania Maxwell will on Tuesday move for convicted murderers to be kept in jail if they refuse to share the location of their victim's remains.

Victoria passed laws in 2016 preventing killers from getting parole unless they divulged a victim's whereabouts.

Ms Maxwell's amendment to the Serious Offenders Act 2018 would allow the Director of Public Prosecutions to ask the Supreme Court for a detention order when a prisoner won't help police to recover their victim's body.

Their detention could continue indefinitely after their sentence ended.

The motion has been dubbed the "no body, no release" rule.

Families whose loved ones were murdered and their bodies not recovered served a life sentence of pain and misery, Ms Maxwell said.

"This is an absolute no-brainer," she told reporters ahead of reading the motion into parliament.

"(Families) need to know where that body is and if that convicted offender isn't going to have the guts to stand up and say what they've done with that body, then they should remain in prison."

Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes would speak with the minor party before deciding whether the government backed the move, Premier Daniel Andrews said.

"Sentencing is a matter for judges based on the merits of an individual case, and we do already have significant laws around this issue, but we'll look at that matter," he said.

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