The CFB, which will herald radical changes to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (‘POCA’), is progressing through the various parliamentary processes and will receive its second reading before the House of Lords on 9th March 2017.
The expectations are that the proposals will become law during the summer of 2017 and that several parts will face considerable controversy.
Colin Parker of Kangs Solicitors highlights three of the proposals.
Proposals | Kangs Financial Crime Advisors
The existing cash seizure powers are being extended to cover items such as expensive watches with the result that any apprehended suspect can probably expect any such item(s) to be seized in the same manner as cash.
This will enable police to promptly seize any such asset that it is believed derives from the proceeds of crime.
Unexplained Wealth Orders (‘UWO’)
The enforcement authorities will have the power to seek an order from the High Court requiring an individual to explain their interest in any property.
The High Court will need to be satisfied that the individual who is the subject of the application is either:
- someone who is politically exposed or
- a person who is, or has been involved in serious crime or has connections with another person involved in serious crime.
The property, which is the subject of enquiry, must exceed £100,000 in value.
Failure to comply with a UWO may:
- result in contempt of court proceedings
- result in a prosecution for a new offence of making a misleading statement in response to a UWO.
There are two proposed changes:
- HMRC and the FCA will be empowered to conduct civil recovery work through Civil Recovery Orders, in addition to the authorities that already obtain such Orders
- There will be new powers to revisit the criminal benefit of orders under POCA in which the ‘available benefit’ may have increased. If it is to be the case that negotiated settlements fall for reconsideration, then considerable thought will have to be given to that risk when settlements are negotiated.
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The financial crime team at Kangs Solicitors is led by Hamraj Kang who is ranked as a ‘star individual’ by Chambers & Partners, a recognition given to only one other solicitor nationally.
Our team of Specialist Fraud Solicitors can advise individuals and companies at any stage of a fraud investigation and we can represent you from initial arrest and interview stage through to trial.
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