The EU Council has announced that it has adopted a Directive on the freezing and confiscation of proceeds of crime in the EU. The Directive provides a wide definition of “property”, which includes legal documents or documents which evidence an interest in property, and allows the competent authorities within a Member State to confiscate the property and proceeds of crime or freeze assets which are the result of a financial crime. The freezing or confiscation of assets will be subject to conviction of the offender. The Directive will take effect 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU, on 3 April 2014. Member States will have two and a half years to implement the Directive thereafter.