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Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003

Section 35: Account Information

97.Sections 35 and 36 implement Article 3 of the 2001 Protocol in relation to incoming requests. Article 3 provides for requests to be made for a specified account to be monitored during a specified period of time. Such a request might be made subsequent to an Article 1 request for bank details or in cases where the investigator already has the details of the relevant account. Account monitoring procedures were introduced in the UK under POCA, but separate provision is required in this Act to ensure that the UK can respond to all requests that meet the requirements of the 2001 Protocol which has a wider scope than POCA.

98.Section 35 applies where the Secretary of State receives such a request and authorises him to direct the appropriate police or customs officer to apply for an account information order. An account information order requires a financial institution specified in the application to provide account information specified in the order (for example, details of all transactions passing through the account) during a specified period. Subsection (5) defines account information. Article 3(3) of the 2001 Protocol provides that the order shall be made with due regard for the national law of the requested Member State. Under POCA, account monitoring orders may be made for a period of up to 90 days and the same restriction will apply to requests under the 2001 Protocol. No limit is stated because the arrangements will be made between the relevant authorities on a case by case basis, as provided for in Article 3(4) of the 2001 Protocol.

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