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Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

Section 119: Conditions for exercise of powers

190.Section 119 sets out when a restraint order, as provided for in the ensuing sections, may be made by the Court of Session or sheriff court (civil). A restraint order has the effect of freezing property which may be liable to confiscation following the trial and the making of a confiscation order. Under the earlier confiscation legislation, the earliest time when a restraint may be made by the court was within 28 days before proceedings were instituted, or an application in respect of further confiscation proceedings had been made or was to be made (for example, for a reconsideration of the accused’s benefit).

191.The Act maintains the present position on restraint orders with one change. The point at which a restraint order may be made is brought forward to any time after a criminal investigation has been instituted, as defined in section 154(1). The change is likely to be of particular assistance in cases where the investigative process involves questioning the suspect (as often occurs, for example, in fraud cases) and the suspect is, accordingly, alerted to the risk that the authorities may be thinking of applying for a restraint order.

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