Section 330 of The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (‘POCA’) places an obligation on anyone working within the ‘regulated sector’ to disclose any knowledge or suspicion of money laundering activity with failure to do so constituting a criminal offence.
John Veale of Kangs Solicitors comments upon this section.
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The Regulated Sector | Kangs POCA Solicitors
The Act lists in considerable detail at Schedule 9 the nature of the businesses and activities which fall within the definition of ‘the regulated sector’.
The Offence | Kangs Fraud Defence Solicitors
Section 330 of the Act provides that a person commits an offence if that person:
- knows or suspects, or has reasonable grounds for knowing or suspecting that another person is engaged in money laundering and
- that the information or other matter on which his knowledge or suspicion is based, or which gives reasonable grounds for such knowledge or suspicion came to him in the course of a business in the regulated sector and
- that he can identify the other person or the whereabouts of any of the laundered property, or that he believes, or it is reasonable to expect him to believe, that the information will or may assist in identifying the other person or the whereabouts of any of the laundered property and
- he does not make the required disclosure to a nominated officer or a duly authorised person as soon as is practicable after the information or other matter comes to him.
The required disclosure is a disclosure of the identity of the other person, the whereabouts of the laundered property, so far as it is known, and the information upon which the knowledge or reasonable suspicion is based giving grounds for such knowledge or suspicion.
Potential Defences | Kangs Criminal Defence Team
Section 330 of the Act also provides:
subsection (6): a person does not commit an offence if:
- he has a reasonable excuse for not making the required disclosure,
- he is a professional legal adviser or works with a relevant professional adviser and information or other matter came to him in privileged circumstances or
- he does not know or suspect that another person is engaged in money laundering and he has not been provided by his employer with such training as is specified by the Secretary of State.
Subsection (7A): a person does not commit an offence if:
- he knows, or believe on reasonable grounds, that the money laundering is occurring in a particular country or territory outside the United Kingdom, and
- the money laundering is not unlawful under the criminal law applying in that country or territory and is not of a description prescribed in an order made by the Secretary of State.
Penalties Upon Conviction | Kangs POCA Team
Conviction before a Magistrates’ Court may result in imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months and/or to a fine.
Conviction before a Crown Court may result in imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years and/or a fine.
Who Can I Contact for Advice & Help? | Kangs National Fraud Offences Defence Solicitors
If you are subject to any criminal investigation, internal company investigation, investigation by a regulator or professional body in relation to a failure to report or other alleged money laundering offence, it is essential that you seek expert advice and assistance immediately.
Please do not hesitate to contact the team at Kangs Solicitors through any of the following who will be pleased to speak to you: