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Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

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Changes and effects yet to be applied to Chapter 3 Crossheading Forfeiture-without-court-order:

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[F1Forfeiture without court orderU.K.

Textual Amendments

F1Ss. 297A-297G and cross-heading inserted (22.11.2014 for the insertion of s. 297A(3)-(5) for specified purposes, 1.6.2015 for specified purposes, 1.3.2016 in so far as not already in force) by Policing and Crime Act 2009 (c. 26), ss. 65(1), 116(1) (with s. 65(4)); S.I. 2014/3101, art. 3; S.I. 2015/983, art. 2(2)(c); S.I. 2016/147, art. 3(e)

297AForfeiture noticeU.K.

(1)Subsection (2) applies while any cash is detained in pursuance of an order under section 295(2) made by a magistrates' court in England and Wales or Northern Ireland.

(2)A senior officer may give a notice for the purpose of forfeiting the cash or any part of it if satisfied that the cash or part—

(a)is recoverable property, or

(b)is intended by any person for use in unlawful conduct.

(3)The Secretary of State must make regulations about how a notice is to be given.

(4)The regulations may provide—

(a)for a notice to be given to such person or persons, and in such manner, as may be prescribed;

(b)for a notice to be given by publication in such manner as may be prescribed;

(c)for circumstances in which, and the time at which, a notice is to be treated as having been given.

(5)The regulations must ensure that where a notice is given it is, if possible, given to every person to whom notice of an order under section 295(2) in respect of the cash has been given.

(6)A senior officer means—

(a)an officer of Revenue and Customs of a rank designated by the Commissioners for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs as equivalent to that of a senior police officer,

[F2(aa)an immigration officer of a rank designated by the Secretary of State as equivalent to that of a senior police officer,]

(b)a senior police officer, [F3or]

[F4(ba)the Director of the Serious Fraud Office, or]

[F5(bb)the Director General of the National Crime Agency or any other National Crime Agency officer authorised by the Director General (whether generally or specifically) for this purpose,]

(c)an accredited financial investigator.

(7)A senior police officer means a police officer of at least the rank of inspector.

(8)A notice under this section is referred to in this Chapter as a forfeiture notice.

Textual Amendments

F3Word in s. 297A(6)(b) omitted (27.4.2017 for specified purposes, 31.1.2018 for E.W.S. in so far as not already in force) by virtue of Criminal Finances Act 2017 (c. 22), s. 58(1)(6), Sch. 1 para. 19(a); S.I. 2018/78, reg. 3(aa)

F4S. 297A(6)(ba) inserted (27.4.2017 for specified purposes, 31.1.2018 for E.W.S. in so far as not already in force) by Criminal Finances Act 2017 (c. 22), s. 58(1)(6), Sch. 1 para. 19(b); S.I. 2018/78, reg. 3(aa)

F5S. 297A(6)(bb) inserted (27.4.2017 for specified purposes, 31.1.2018 for E.W.S. in so far as not already in force) by Criminal Finances Act 2017 (c. 22), ss. 34(7), 58(1)(6); S.I. 2018/78, reg. 3(s)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Pt. 5 Ch. 3 applied by 2007 c. 30, s. 24(1) (as substituted (27.4.2017 for specified purposes, 31.1.2018 for E.W.S. in so far as not already in force) by Criminal Finances Act 2017 (c. 22), ss. 21(3), 58(1)(6); S.I. 2018/78, reg. 3(f))

297BContentU.K.

(1)A forfeiture notice must—

(a)state the amount of cash in respect of which it is given,

(b)state when and where the cash was seized,

(c)confirm that the senior officer is satisfied as mentioned in section 297A(2),

(d)specify a period for objecting to the proposed forfeiture and an address to which any objections must be sent, and

(e)explain that the cash will be forfeited unless an objection is received at that address within the period for objecting.

(2)The period for objecting must be at least 30 days starting with the day after the notice is given.

297CEffectU.K.

(1)This section applies if a forfeiture notice is given in respect of any cash.

(2)The cash is to be detained until—

(a)the cash is forfeited under this section,

(b)the notice lapses under this section, or

(c)the cash is released under a power conferred by this Chapter.

(3)If no objection is made within the period for objecting, and the notice has not lapsed, the cash is forfeited (subject to section 297E).

(4)If an objection is made within the period for objecting, the notice lapses.

(5)If an application is made for the forfeiture of the whole or any part of the cash under section 298, the notice lapses.

(6)If the cash or any part of it is released under a power conferred by this Chapter, the notice lapses or (as the case may be) lapses in relation to that part.

(7)An objection may be made by anyone, whether a recipient of the notice or not.

(8)An objection means a written objection sent to the address specified in the notice; and an objection is made when it is received at the address.

(9)An objection does not prevent forfeiture of the cash under section 298.

(10)Nothing in this section affects the validity of an order under section 295(2).

297DDetention following lapse of noticeU.K.

(1)This section applies if—

(a)a forfeiture notice is given in respect of any cash,

(b)the notice lapses under section 297C(4), and

(c)the period for which detention of the cash was authorised under section 295(2) has expired.

(2)The cash may be detained for a further period of up to 48 hours (calculated in accordance with section 295(1B)).

(3)But if within that period the Commissioners for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, a constable [F6, an SFO officer] or an accredited financial investigator decides that neither of the applications mentioned in subsection (4) ought to be made, the cash must be released.

(4)The applications are—

(a)an application for a further order under section 295(2);

(b)an application for forfeiture of the cash under section 298.

(5)“ If within that period an application is made for a further order under section 295(2) the cash may be detained until the application is determined or otherwise disposed of. ”

Textual Amendments

F6Words in s. 297D(3) inserted (27.4.2017 for specified purposes, 31.1.2018 for E.W.S. in so far as not already in force) by Criminal Finances Act 2017 (c. 22), s. 58(1)(6), Sch. 1 para. 20; S.I. 2018/78, reg. 3(aa)

297EApplication to set aside forfeitureU.K.

(1)This section applies if any cash is forfeited in pursuance of a forfeiture notice.

(2)A person aggrieved by the forfeiture may apply to a magistrates' court in England and Wales or Northern Ireland for an order setting aside the forfeiture of the cash or any part of it.

(3)The application must be made before the end of the period of 30 days starting with the day on which the period for objecting ended.

(4)But the court may give permission for an application to be made after the 30-day period has ended if it thinks that there are exceptional circumstances to explain why the applicant—

(a)failed to object to the forfeiture within the period for objecting, and

(b)failed to make an application within the 30-day period.

(5)On an application under this section the court must consider whether the cash to which the application relates could be forfeited under section 298 (ignoring the forfeiture mentioned in subsection (1) above).

(6)If the court is satisfied that the cash to which the application relates or any part of it could not be forfeited under that section it must set aside the forfeiture of that cash or part.

(7)Where the court sets aside the forfeiture of any cash—

(a)it must order the release of that cash, and

(b)that cash is to be treated as never having been forfeited.

297FRelease of cash subject to forfeiture noticeU.K.

(1)This section applies while any cash is detained under section 297C or 297D.

(2)A magistrates' court may direct the release of the whole or any part of the cash if the following condition is met.

(3)The condition is that the court is not satisfied, on an application by the person from whom the cash was seized, that the cash to be released—

(a)is recoverable property, or

(b)is intended by any person for use in unlawful conduct.

(4)An officer of Revenue and Customs, [F7immigration officer,] constable [F8, SFO officer] or accredited financial investigator may release the cash or any part of it if satisfied that the detention of the cash to be released is no longer justified.

Textual Amendments

F8Words in s. 297F(4) inserted (27.4.2017 for specified purposes, 31.1.2018 for E.W.S. in so far as not already in force) by Criminal Finances Act 2017 (c. 22), s. 58(1)(6), Sch. 1 para. 21; S.I. 2018/78, reg. 3(aa)

297GApplication of forfeited cashU.K.

(1)Cash forfeited in pursuance of a forfeiture notice, and any accrued interest on it, is to be paid into the Consolidated Fund.

(2)But it is not to be paid in—

(a)before the end of the period within which an application under section 297E may be made (ignoring the possibility of an application by virtue of section 297E(4)), or

(b)if an application is made within that period, before the application is determined or otherwise disposed of.]

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