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Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

Section 252: Restrictions on dealing etc. with property

320.Subsection (1) provides that the interim receiving order must prevent any dealing with the property to which it applies, subject to any exclusions which may be made under the rest of the section. This is to prevent the property being dissipated pending a resolution of the civil recovery case. ‘Dealing’ is explained in section 316(1) as including disposing of the property, taking possession of it or removing it from the United Kingdom. A person who has notice of the order and contravenes it will be liable to be proceeded against for contempt of court.

321.Subsection (2) states that exclusions may be made either when the order is made or, later, by variation. Subsection (3) states that an exclusion may in particular provide for property to be used for meeting any person’s reasonable living expenses or to carry on a trade, business, profession or occupation. Living expenses would be likely to include the living expenses of dependants. But the court’s discretion to release property is limited by subsections (4) (no release of property to meet legal expenses arising from civil recovery) and (6) (the court must ensure that the Director’s “right to recover” the property (defined at section 316(8)) is not be unduly prejudiced). Persons involved in civil recovery proceedings will be able to apply to the Community Legal Service scheme, or the Legal Aid scheme which applies in Northern Ireland, for their legal costs, or of course to use any unfrozen assets they may have available, so there will be no need for them to draw from the property subject to the order.

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