Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (text) introduces a number of measures aimed at confiscating benefits gained from criminal conduct and for restraint orders to prohibit dealing with property.

IT professionals will also be interested in the money laundering provisions set out in Part 7 of the Act.

The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) (text) (1) establishes the Assets Recovery Agency and make provision about the appointment of its Director and his functions (including Revenue functions); (2) provides for confiscation orders in relation to persons who benefit from criminal conduct and for restraint orders to prohibit dealing with property; (3) allows the recovery of property which is or represents property obtained through unlawful conduct or which is intended to be used in unlawful conduct; (4) makes provision about money laundering; (5) makes provision about investigations relating to benefit from criminal conduct or to property which is or represents property obtained through unlawful conduct or to money laundering; (6) makes provision to give effect to overseas requests and orders made where property is found or believed to be obtained through criminal conduct.

Money laundering and proceeds of crime

Part 7 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 created a single set of money laundering offences applicable throughout the UK to the proceeds of all crimes. It also creates a disclosure regime, which makes it an offence not to disclose knowledge or suspicion of money laundering, but also permits persons to be given consent in certain circumstances to carry out activities which would otherwise constitute money laundering.

Offence of Concealing

(1) A person commits an offence if he—

(a) conceals criminal property;

(b) disguises criminal property;

(c) converts criminal property;

(d) transfers criminal property;

(e) removes criminal property from England and Wales or from Scotland or from Northern Ireland.

(2) But a person does not commit such an offence if—

(a) he makes an authorised disclosure under section 338 and (if the disclosure is made before he does the act mentioned in subsection (1)) he has the appropriate consent;

(b) he intended to make such a disclosure but had a reasonable excuse for not doing so;

(c) the act he does is done in carrying out a function he has relating to the enforcement of any provision of this Act or of any other enactment relating to criminal conduct or benefit from criminal conduct.

(3) Concealing or disguising criminal property includes concealing or disguising its nature, source, location, disposition, movement or ownership or any rights with respect to it.

Offence of being aware

A person commits an offence if he enters into or becomes concerned in an arrangement which he knows or suspects facilitates (by whatever means) the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property by or on behalf of another person.

Property offences

(1) A person commits an offence if he—

(a) acquires criminal property;

(b) uses criminal property;

(c) has possession of criminal property.

The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 also creates an offence of failure to disclosure to the regulator in any regulated sector.

Supervision and enforcement

Reference

Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (text)

UK/2002/C/29