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Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

Sections 449 & 450: Agency staff: pseudonyms; Pseudonyms: Scotland

638.Section 449 provides protection for Agency staff when carrying out their duties. A member of staff of the Agency may identify himself by means of a pseudonym whenever it would otherwise be necessary or expedient to provide his name, including when exercising powers under Part 8 of the Act that would require him to be named. Section 450 relates to Scotland and provides similar protection for persons carrying out civil recovery investigations on behalf of the Scottish Ministers.

639.Section 449 will mean that the Director – and only the Director – will have the power to direct that Agency staff may identify themselves by means of a pseudonym when they are authorised to do anything for the purposes of the Act. A certificate signed by the Director will be conclusive evidence that the member of staff is entitled to use the pseudonym. Where staff are acting under a pseudonym, they may not be asked any question which is likely to reveal their true identity. If they are asked such a question, they do not have to answer. Section 450 for Scotland reflects the different arrangements there, where the law enforcement and prosecution authorities will continue to be responsible for confiscation and the Scottish Ministers for civil recovery.

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