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Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

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Changes over time for: Cross Heading: Account forfeiture notices (England and Wales and Northern Ireland)

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[F1Account forfeiture notices (England and Wales and Northern Ireland)U.K.

Textual Amendments

F1Pt. 5 Ch. 3B inserted (27.4.2017 for specified purposes, 30.1.2018 for the insertion of ss. 303Z2(4), 303Z10 for E.W.S. so far as not already in force, 31.1.2018 for E.W.S. in so far as not already in force) by Criminal Finances Act 2017 (c. 22), ss. 16, 58(1)(6); S.I. 2018/78, regs. 2(b), 3(d)

303Z9Account forfeiture noticeU.K.

(1)This section applies while an account freezing order made by a magistrates' court has effect.

In this section the account to which the order applies is “the frozen account”.

(2)A senior officer may give a notice for the purpose of forfeiting money held in the frozen account (whether all or part of the credit balance of the account) if satisfied that the money—

(a)is recoverable property, or

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

(3)A notice given under subsection (2) is referred to in this Chapter as an account forfeiture notice.

(4)An account forfeiture notice must—

(a)state the amount of money held in the frozen account which it is proposed be forfeited,

(b)confirm that the senior officer is satisfied as mentioned in subsection (2),

(c)specify a period for objecting to the proposed forfeiture and an address to which any objections must be sent, and

(d)explain that the money will be forfeited unless an objection is received at that address within the period for objecting.

(5)The period for objecting must be at least 30 days starting with the day after the notice is given.

(6)If no objection is made within the period for objecting, and the notice has not lapsed under section 303Z11—

(a)the amount of money stated in the notice is forfeited (subject to section 303Z12),

(b)the bank or building society with which the frozen account is maintained must transfer that amount of money into an interest-bearing account nominated by an enforcement officer, and

(c)immediately after the transfer has been made, the account freezing order made in relation to the frozen account ceases to have effect.

(7)An objection may be made by anyone (whether a recipient of the notice or not).

(8)An objection means a written objection sent to the address specified in the notice; and an objection is made when it is received at the address.

(9)An objection does not prevent forfeiture of the money held in the frozen account under section 303Z14.

303Z10Giving of account forfeiture noticeU.K.

(1)The Secretary of State must make regulations about how an account forfeiture notice is to be given.

(2)The regulations may (amongst other things) provide—

(a)for an account forfeiture notice to be given to such person or persons, and in such manner, as may be prescribed;

(b)for circumstances in which, and the time at which, an account forfeiture notice is to be treated as having been given.

(3)The regulations must ensure that where an account forfeiture notice is given it is, if possible, given to every person to whom notice of the account freezing order was given.

303Z11Lapse of account forfeiture noticeU.K.

(1)An account forfeiture notice lapses if—

(a)an objection is made within the period for objecting specified in the notice under section 303Z9(4)(c),

(b)an application is made under section 303Z14 for the forfeiture of money held in the frozen account, or

(c)an order is made under section 303Z4 setting aside the relevant account freezing order.

(2)If an account forfeiture notice lapses under subsection (1)(a), the relevant account freezing order ceases to have effect at the end of the period of 48 hours starting with the making of the objection (“the 48-hour period”).

This is subject to subsections (3) and (7).

(3)If within the 48-hour period an application is made—

(a)for a variation of the relevant account freezing order under section 303Z4 so as to extend the period specified in the order, or

(b)for forfeiture of money held in the frozen account under section 303Z14,

the order continues to have effect until the relevant time (and then ceases to have effect).

(4)In the case of an application of the kind mentioned in subsection (3)(a), the relevant time means—

(a)if an extension is granted, the time determined in accordance with section 303Z3(3), or

(b)if an extension is not granted, the time when the application is determined or otherwise disposed of.

(5)In the case of an application of the kind mentioned in subsection (3)(b), the relevant time is the time determined in accordance with section 303Z14(6).

(6)If within the 48-hour period it is decided that no application of the kind mentioned in subsection (3)(a) or (b) is to be made, an enforcement officer must, as soon as possible, notify the bank or building society with which the frozen account is maintained of that decision.

(7)If the bank or building society is notified in accordance with subsection (6) before the expiry of the 48-hour period, the relevant account freezing order ceases to have effect on the bank or building society being so notified.

(8)In relation to an account forfeiture notice—

(a)“the frozen account” is the account in which the money to which the account forfeiture notice relates is held;

(b)“the relevant account freezing order” is the account freezing order made in relation to the frozen account.

(9)In calculating a period of 48 hours for the purposes of this section no account is to be taken of—

(a)any Saturday or Sunday,

(b)Christmas Day,

(c)Good Friday, or

(d)any day that is a bank holiday under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971 in the part of the United Kingdom in which the account freezing order was made.

303Z12Application to set aside forfeitureU.K.

(1)A person aggrieved by the forfeiture of money in pursuance of section 303Z9(6)(a) may apply to a magistrates' court for an order setting aside the forfeiture of the money or any part of it.

(2)The application must be made before the end of the period of 30 days starting with the day on which the period for objecting ended (“the 30-day period”).

(3)But the court may give permission for an application to be made after the 30-day period has ended if it thinks that there are exceptional circumstances to explain why the applicant—

(a)failed to object to the forfeiture within the period for objecting, and

(b)failed to make an application within the 30-day period.

(4)On an application under this section the court must consider whether the money to which the application relates could be forfeited under section 303Z14 (ignoring the forfeiture mentioned in subsection (1)).

(5)If the court is satisfied that the money to which the application relates or any part of it could not be forfeited under that section it must set aside the forfeiture of that money or part.

(6)Where the court sets aside the forfeiture of any money—

(a)it must order the release of that money, and

(b)the money is to be treated as never having been forfeited.

(7)Where money is released by virtue of subsection (6)(a), there must be added to the money on its release any interest accrued on it whilst in the account referred to in section 303Z9(6)(b).

303Z13Application of money forfeited under account forfeiture noticeU.K.

(1)Money forfeited in pursuance of section 303Z9(6)(a), and any interest accrued on it whilst in the account referred to in section 303Z9(6)(b), is to be paid into the Consolidated Fund.

(2)But it is not to be paid in—

(a)before the end of the period within which an application under section 303Z12 may be made (ignoring the possibility of an application by virtue of section 303Z12(3)), or

(b)if an application is made within that period, before the application is determined or otherwise disposed of.]

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