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The word contraband, reported in English since 1529, from Medieval French contrebande "a smuggling," denotes any item that, relating to its nature, is illegal to be possessed or sold.
It is used for goods that by their nature are considered too dangerous or offensive in the eyes of the legislator (termed contraband in se) and forbidden. So-called derivative contraband refers to goods that may normally be owned, but are liable to be seized because they were used in committing an unlawful act and hence begot illegally:
stolen goods – knowingly participating in their trade is an offense in itself, called fencing
the fruits of fraud, forgery etc.
The word is also used as an adjective, again meaning 'distributed or sold illicitly'.
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