§ 1904. Seizure or forfeiture of property

(a) Any property described in section 881 (a) of title 21 that is used or intended for use to commit, or to facilitate the commission of, an offense under this chapter shall be subject to seizure and forfeiture in the same manner as similar property seized or forfeited under section 881 of title 21.
(b) Practices commonly recognized as smuggling tactics may provide prima facie evidence of intent to use a vessel to commit, or to facilitate the commission of, an offense under this chapter, and may support seizure and forfeiture of the vessel, even in the absence of controlled substances aboard the vessel. The following indicia, among others, may be considered, in the totality of the circumstances, to be prima facie evidence that a vessel is intended to be used to commit, or to facilitate the commission of an offense under this chapter:
(1) The construction or adaptation of the vessel in a manner that facilitates smuggling, including—
(A) the configuration of the vessel to ride low in the water or present a low hull profile to avoid being detected visually or by radar;
(B) the presence of any compartment or equipment which is built or fitted out for smuggling, not including items such as a safe or lock-box reasonably used for the storage of personal valuables;
(C) the presence of an auxiliary tank not installed in accordance with applicable law or installed in such a manner as to enhance the vessel’s smuggling capability;
(D) the presence of engines that are excessively over-powered in relation to the design and size of the vessel;
(E) the presence of materials used to reduce or alter the heat or radar signature of the vessel and avoid detection;
(F) the presence of a camouflaging paint scheme, or of materials used to camouflage the vessel, to avoid detection; or
(G) the display of false vessel registration numbers, false indicia of vessel nationality, false vessel name, or false vessel homeport.
(2) The presence or absence of equipment, personnel, or cargo inconsistent with the type or declared purpose of the vessel.
(3) The presence of excessive fuel, lube oil, food, water, or spare parts, inconsistent with legitimate vessel operation, inconsistent with the construction or equipment of the vessel, or inconsistent with the character of the vessel’s stated purpose.
(4) The operation of the vessel without lights during times lights are required to be displayed under applicable law or regulation and in a manner of navigation consistent with smuggling tactics used to avoid detection by law enforcement authorities.
(5) The failure of the vessel to stop or respond or heave to when hailed by government authority, especially where the vessel conducts evasive maneuvering when hailed.
(6) The declaration to government authority of apparently false information about the vessel, crew, or voyage or the failure to identify the vessel by name or country of registration when requested to do so by government authority.
(7) The presence of controlled substance residue on the vessel, on an item aboard the vessel, or on a person aboard the vessel, of a quantity or other nature which reasonably indicates manufacturing or distribution activity.
(8) The use of petroleum products or other substances on the vessel to foil the detection of controlled substance residue.
(9) The presence of a controlled substance in the water in the vicinity of the vessel, where given the currents, weather conditions, and course and speed of the vessel, the quantity or other nature is such that it reasonably indicates manufacturing or distribution activity.
Prev | Next