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Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

Section 451: Customs and Excise prosecutions

640.Section 451 provides that the Commissioners of Customs and Excise may bring proceedings for an offence under Part 7 of the Act (money laundering), an offence under section 342 (prejudicing an investigation) and certain inchoate offences in relation to these offences. The provision reflects that in existing legislation (section 60 of the Drug Trafficking Act 1994, and section 93F of the Criminal Justice Act 1988), except that the range of offences covered has been slightly increased. This means that, in addition to the Part 7 offences (the three principal money laundering offences, failure to disclose and tipping off) or the section 342 (prejudicing an investigation) offence, the provision now covers any attempt, conspiracy or incitement to commit any of the above-mentioned offences, or similarly aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the commission of any of those offences.

641.It should be noted that this section does not apply to proceedings on indictment in Scotland, where such prosecutions are conducted in the name of the Lord Advocate. Statutory provision for Customs and Excise officers to bring summary prosecutions in Scotland is set out in section 34(1) of the Criminal Law (Consolidation)(Scotland) Act 1995, but in practice these are conducted in the name of the Procurator Fiscal.

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