Duties and responsibilities under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
This advice explains how operators can make sure they and their employees comply with their obligations under The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA).
2 - The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
In section 340 of POCA (opens in a new tab), criminal property is defined as property which:
- constitutes a person’s benefit from criminal conduct or represents such a benefit, in whole or in part, and whether directly or indirectly
- and the alleged offender knows or suspects it constitutes or represents such a benefit.
It is immaterial who carried out the criminal conduct, who benefited from it and whether the conduct occurred before or after the passing of POCA.
Criminal conduct, in turn, is defined as conduct which:
- constitutes an offence in any part of the United Kingdom
- or would constitute an offence in any part of the United Kingdom if it occurred there.
This means that offences from which the proceeds of crime are generated are relevant for these purposes even if the principal offence was committed abroad, so long as the principal offence would also be a crime if it was committed in the United Kingdom.
A person benefits from conduct if they obtain property as a result of or in connection with the conduct. If a person benefits from criminal conduct, their benefit is the property obtained as a result of, or in connection with, the conduct. Property includes money, all forms of property, real (for example, land and buildings) or personal (for example, cars, furniture and clothing), inherited or moveable (for example, machinery and livestock), and intangible property (for example, trademarks, copyrights and patents). Property is obtained by a person if he obtains an interest in it. Property is 'criminal property' if it is a person’s benefit from criminal conduct or it represents such benefit, either directly or indirectly, as long as the alleged offender knows or suspects that it constitutes or represents such a benefit.
If a person gains a financial advantage as a result of, or in connection, with criminal conduct, he is to be taken to have obtained a sum of money equal to the value of the financial advantage.
The principal money laundering offences specified within POCA criminalise a person’s dealings with criminal property, subject to certain exceptions. The principal offences and the exceptions are discussed next.Previous section
What is meant by the proceeds of crime and money laundering? Next section
Offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
Last updated: 13 November 2020
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