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Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

Section 333: Tipping off

487.Section 333 creates the offence of making a disclosure likely to prejudice a money laundering investigation being undertaken or which may be undertaken by law enforcement authorities. Together with section 342 (offence of prejudicing an investigation), these new offences replace section 53 of the Drug Trafficking Offences Act 1994 and section 93D of the Criminal Justice Act 1988. The equivalent provision in Scotland is section 40 of the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995; in Northern Ireland it is Article 48 of the Proceeds of Crime (Northern Ireland) Order 1996.

488.As for sections 327(2)(c), 328(2)(c) and 329(2)(c), there is protection from the offence for law enforcement officers who may need to make a prohibited disclosure in the course of their official duties, and there is an additional defence if a person did not know or suspect that the disclosure would prejudice an investigation. As for section 330, section 333 also extends to inchoate offences, for the same reason. The maximum penalty for the offence, as set out at section 334, is 5 years imprisonment.

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