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Any property that it is illegal to produce or possess. Smuggled goods that are imported into or exported from a country in violation of its laws.

Contraband confiscated by law enforcement authorities upon the arrest of a person for the crimes of production or possession of such goods will not be returned, regardless of the outcome of the prosecution.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1 goods that are prohibited by law from being exported or imported; illegally imported or exported goods.
2 in international law, contraband of war denotes goods that a neutral country may not supply to a belligerent.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

CONTRABAND, mar. law. Its most extensive sense, means all commerce which is carried on contrary to the laws of the state. This term is also used to designate all kinds of merchandise which are used, or transported, against the interdictions published by a ban or solemn cry.
     2. The term is usually applied to that unlawful commerce which is so carried on in time of war. Merlin, Repert. h.t. Commodities particularly useful in war are contraband as arms, ammunition, horses, timber for ship building, and every kind of naval stores. When articles come into use as implements of war, which were before innocent, they may be declared to be contraband. The greatest difficulty to decide what is contraband seems to have occurred in the instance of provisions, which have not been held to be universally contraband, though Vattel admits that they become so on certain occasions, when there is an expectation of reducing an enemy by famine.
     3. In modern times one of the principal criteria adopted by the courts for the decision of the question, whether any particular cargo of provisions be confiscable as contraband, is to examine whether those provisions be in a rude or manufactured state; for all articles, in such examinations, are treated with greater indulgence in their natural condition than when wrought tip for the convenience of the enemy's immediate use. Iron, unwrought, is therefore treated with indulgence, though anchors, and other instruments fabricated out of it, are directly contraband. 1 Rob. Rep. 1 89. See Vattel, b. 3, c. 7 Chitty's L. of Nat. 120; Marsh. Ins. 78; 2 Bro. Civ., Law, 311; 1 Kent. Com. 135; 3 Id. 215.
     4. Contraband of war, is the act by which, in times of war, a neutral vessel introduces, or attempts to introduce into the territory of, one of the belligerent parties, arms, ammunition, or other effects intended for, or which may serve, hostile operations. Merlin, Repert. h.t. 1 Kent, Com. 135; Mann. Comm. B. 3, c. 7; 6 Mass. 102; 1 Wheat. 382; 1 Cowen, 56 John. Cas. 77, 120.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
'The team took action and upon closer inspection there were four other vehicles parked in front of the house that contained boxes of contraband cigarettes and counterfeit liquor that is estimated to be worth RM560,709.
Possible end of contraband crossings?The decision brings back to public attention the longstanding controversy surrounding the Ceuta-Morocco merchandise smuggling.In February 2019, the director-general of the Moroccan Administration of Customs and Indirect Taxation, Nabil Lajdar, said that he supports a "radical" solution to "definitively" put an end to contraband border crossings with Melilla and Ceuta.
Global Contraband Detector Market projected to grow from US$ 3.9 Billion in 2019 to US$ 5.4 Billion by 2024, with a CAGR of 6.7%.
More than 10 bags of contraband sugar and several bags of milk had been seized by the border surveillance unit.
The African national along with the recovered contraband substance has been handed over to NCB Officials for further action.
The contraband was concealed inside a water drum to avoid detection by the authorities.
Bustinera added that most of the time, the contraband were smuggled into the jail by visitors through disingenuous means, including hiding them in their private parts or mixing them with food.
As long as correctional institutions have existed, there has been contraband. Contraband can be a moving target in more ways than one.
3,000 contraband drugs have been recovered from his possession.
The consignment packed in 50-kg bags is suspected to have been illegal imported from Tanzania.Matuga police boss Joel Chesire said they intercepted the contraband sugar following a tipoff from the public.
ISLAMABAD -- National Highways and Motorway Police on Friday foiled an attempt to smuggle huge quantity of contraband through the motorway.