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Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

Section 27: Defendant convicted or committed

60.Section 27 is the first of a number of sections dealing with confiscation orders against absconders. Under the earlier confiscation legislation of England and Wales, the High Court may make a confiscation order against an absconded drug trafficker (one who has absconded either after conviction or after proceedings have been instituted). The Act empowers the Crown Court to make a confiscation order against an absconder convicted of, or charged with, any crime.

61.The existing provision for the High Court in England and Wales to make a confiscation order against a drug trafficker who dies after conviction but before the Crown Court can make a confiscation order is abolished. It is considered that the recovery of benefit where the perpetrator is dead is better dealt with under the civil recovery procedures in Part 5 of the Act.

62.Section 27 deals with the situation where a defendant is convicted either in the Crown Court or in the magistrates’ court, and then absconds. In the case of a conviction in the magistrates’ court, the defendant must have been committed to the Crown Court for sentence or confiscation (and sentence) before absconding. Either the prosecutor or the Director may apply to the Crown Court for a confiscation order to be made under this section.

63.Subsection (5)(e) provides that sections 19-21 (reconsideration) do not apply where a person is still an absconder following conviction. Thus they do all apply where a convicted absconder returns.

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