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Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

Section 294: Seizure of cash

409.Chapter 3 expands and replaces the scheme set out in Part II of the Drug Trafficking Act 1994 which provides for the seizure and forfeiture of cash which is being imported into or exported from the United Kingdom, and which represents the proceeds of, or is intended for use in, drug trafficking. This scheme is expanded to include cash related to all unlawful conduct and also provides for the seizure of such cash inland. Section 294 enables a customs officer or a constable to seize cash at the borders or inland if he has reasonable grounds for suspecting that the cash is recoverable property or intended for use in unlawful conduct. Subsection (2) allows for the seizure of indivisible cash only part of which is under suspicion. An example of this is a single cheque of £50,000 where the cash under suspicion is only £25,000. Section 296(2) provides that when such cash can be divided on payment into an interest bearing account, the part not under suspicion must be released.

410.Section 289(6) and (7) defines cash for the purposes of Chapter 3 and enables the Secretary of State following consultation with Scottish Ministers to prescribe by order other monetary instruments. Such monetary instruments must be of a kind that can be paid into an interest bearing account, so as to comply with the requirements of section 296. In order to guard against excessive and disproportionate use of the power, there is to be a threshold below which the powers will not be available; this is specified in an order under section 303. A definition of unlawful conduct is to be found in section 241, and of recoverable property at section 304 to 310.

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