House member proposes expanded US reward system for info on international crime

"Targeting those who assist terrorists and drug cartels with weapons, sophisticated forgeries, and money laundering is just as important as targeting the organizations themselves," he said. "This legislation provides another tool to do so."

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Royce's bill, H.R. 4077, would allow State to offer rewards for information leading to the arrest of people involved in the infringement of intellectual property rights, people involved in trans-national organized crime and people who have been indicted by tribunals for genocide or other war crimes.

The current system of rewards, in place since 1984, allows for rewards to be given for information that helps arrest terrorists, drug offenders and those who have been indicted by international criminal tribunals. Royce said the system has been used to reward more than 60 people over the years for supplying relevant information.

The bill would also make a technical correction to current law that now says the government will offer a reward of up to $50 million for information leading to the capture or death of Osama bin Laden. Officials said last year that they would not hand out a reward related to bin Laden's death, since he was located with the aid of electronic intelligence.

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