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Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Seizure and detention

294Seizure of cash

(1)A customs officer or constable may seize any cash if he has reasonable grounds for suspecting that it is—

(a)recoverable property, or

(b)intended by any person for use in unlawful conduct.

(2)A customs officer or constable may also seize cash part of which he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be—

(a)recoverable property, or

(b)intended by any person for use in unlawful conduct,

if it is not reasonably practicable to seize only that part.

(3)This section does not authorise the seizure of an amount of cash if it or, as the case may be, the part to which his suspicion relates, is less than the minimum amount.

295Detention of seized cash

(1)While the customs officer or constable continues to have reasonable grounds for his suspicion, cash seized under section 294 may be detained initially for a period of 48 hours.

(2)The period for which the cash or any part of it may be detained may be extended by an order made by a magistrates' court or (in Scotland) the sheriff; but the order may not authorise the detention of any of the cash—

(a)beyond the end of the period of three months beginning with the date of the order,

(b)in the case of any further order under this section, beyond the end of the period of two years beginning with the date of the first order.

(3)A justice of the peace may also exercise the power of a magistrates' court to make the first order under subsection (2) extending the period.

(4)An application for an order under subsection (2)—

(a)in relation to England and Wales and Northern Ireland, may be made by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise or a constable,

(b)in relation to Scotland, may be made by the Scottish Ministers in connection with their functions under section 298 or by a procurator fiscal,

and the court, sheriff or justice may make the order if satisfied, in relation to any cash to be further detained, that either of the following conditions is met.

(5)The first condition is that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that the cash is recoverable property and that either—

(a)its continued detention is justified while its derivation is further investigated or consideration is given to bringing (in the United Kingdom or elsewhere) proceedings against any person for an offence with which the cash is connected, or

(b)proceedings against any person for an offence with which the cash is connected have been started and have not been concluded.

(6)The second condition is that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that the cash is intended to be used in unlawful conduct and that either—

(a)its continued detention is justified while its intended use is further investigated or consideration is given to bringing (in the United Kingdom or elsewhere) proceedings against any person for an offence with which the cash is connected, or

(b)proceedings against any person for an offence with which the cash is connected have been started and have not been concluded.

(7)An application for an order under subsection (2) may also be made in respect of any cash seized under section 294(2), and the court, sheriff or justice may make the order if satisfied that—

(a)the condition in subsection (5) or (6) is met in respect of part of the cash, and

(b)it is not reasonably practicable to detain only that part.

(8)An order under subsection (2) must provide for notice to be given to persons affected by it.

296Interest

(1)If cash is detained under section 295 for more than 48 hours, it is at the first opportunity to be paid into an interest-bearing account and held there; and the interest accruing on it is to be added to it on its forfeiture or release.

(2)In the case of cash detained under section 295 which was seized under section 294(2), the customs officer or constable must, on paying it into the account, release the part of the cash to which the suspicion does not relate.

(3)Subsection (1) does not apply if the cash or, as the case may be, the part to which the suspicion relates is required as evidence of an offence or evidence in proceedings under this Chapter.

297Release of detained cash

(1)This section applies while any cash is detained under section 295.

(2)A magistrates' court or (in Scotland) the sheriff may direct the release of the whole or any part of the cash if the following condition is met.

(3)The condition is that the court or sheriff is satisfied, on an application by the person from whom the cash was seized, that the conditions in section 295 for the detention of the cash are no longer met in relation to the cash to be released.

(4)A customs officer, constable or (in Scotland) procurator fiscal may, after notifying the magistrates' court, sheriff or justice under whose order cash is being detained, release the whole or any part of it if satisfied that the detention of the cash to be released is no longer justified.

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