There has been a lot of criticism leveled at authorities in many countries, particularly the US, over the use that is made of civil confiscations or proceeds of crime laws.
Without a doubt there have been abuses of these powers, just as there are from time to time abuses of criminal prosecution processes.
In this article a former US Federal prosecutor makes the case for civil forfeiture. It is a well-written piece by an eminently qualified author.
My only caveat is that I think the abuses that the US has seen have been at the State and County, not Federal, level.