Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

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Law - financial crime - UK.


The Proceeds of Crime Act makes it a criminal offence to:

  • Handle property that represents the proceeds of criminal conduct, or to
  • Be involved in arrangements that relate to such property.

Arrangements and disclosure
"What that means in practice is that, unless your business handles others' assets for them, the key POCA provision to be aware of is likely to be the 'arrangements' offence, which can create problems for those who finance or play another, even peripheral, part in a transaction that they suspect may involve the proceeds of 'criminal conduct'.
Lest that prospect seem remote, it's worth bearing in mind that this can include, for instance, a pecuniary advantage arising from tax evasion, or a failure to obtain a proper licence, or even conduct that is lawful overseas, but would be unlawful if it happened here (such as Canadian cannabis sales).
Fortunately, POCA provides for the scenario where a business finds itself in circumstances where a suspicion has arisen and wants either to exit the transaction, or go ahead with it.
Depending on the circumstances, the answer may be to make a disclosure to, and request consent from, the National Crime Agency (NCA)."
The Treasurer magazine, December 2019, p30 - John Binns, Partner, Business Crime and Corporate Regulatory, BCL Solicitors LLP.

See also