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The Proceeds of Crime (Northern Ireland) Order 1996

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Assisting another to retain the benefit of criminal conduct

46.—(1) Subject to paragraph (3), if a person enters into or is otherwise concerned in an arrangement whereby—

(a)the retention or control by or on behalf of another (call him “A”) of A’s proceeds of criminal conduct is facilitated (whether by concealment, removal from the jurisdiction, transfer to nominees or otherwise), or

(b)A’s proceeds of criminal conduct—

(i)are used to secure that funds are placed at A’s disposal, or

(ii)are used for A’s benefit to acquire property by way of investment,

knowing or suspecting that A is a person who is or has been engaged in criminal conduct or has benefited from criminal conduct, he shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) In this Article references to any person’s proceeds of criminal conduct include a reference to any property which in whole or in part directly or indirectly represented in his hands his proceeds of criminal conduct.

(3) Where a person discloses to a constable a suspicion or belief that any funds or investments are derived from or used in connection with criminal conduct or discloses to a constable any matter on which such a suspicion or belief is based—

(a)the disclosure shall not be treated as a breach of any restriction upon the disclosure of information imposed by statute or otherwise; and

(b)if he does any act in contravention of paragraph (1) and the disclosure relates to the arrangement concerned, he does not commit an offence under this Article if—

(i)the disclosure is made before he does the act concerned and the act is done with the consent of the constable, or

(ii)the disclosure is made after he does the act, but is made on his initiative and as soon as it is reasonable for him to make it.

(4) In proceedings against a person for an offence under this Article, it is a defence to prove—

(a)that he did not know or suspect that the arrangement related to any person’s proceeds of criminal conduct, or

(b)that he did not know or suspect that by the arrangement the retention or control by or on behalf of A of any property was facilitated or, as the case may be, that by the arrangement any property was used as mentioned in paragraph (1), or


(i)he intended to disclose to a constable such a suspicion, belief or matter as is mentioned in paragraph (3) in relation to the arrangement, but

(ii)there is reasonable excuse for his failure to make disclosure in accordance with paragraph (3).

(5) In the case of a person who was in employment at the relevant time, paragraphs (3) and (4) shall have effect in relation to disclosures, and intended disclosures, to the appropriate person in accordance with the procedure established by his employer for the making of such disclosures as they have effect in relation to disclosures, and intended disclosures, to a constable.

(6) A person guilty of an offence under this Article shall be liable—

(a)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years or to a fine or to both;

(b)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to both.

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