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Armed Forces Act 2006

Section 38: Other prize offences

112.It is an offence to ill-treat, or unlawfully take anything from, a person on board a ship or aircraft captured as prize (see paragraph 110 above). It would not be unlawful, for example, to take a weapon from such a person (subsection (1)).

113.Under subsection (2) it is an offence to interfere with goods found on a ship or aircraft taken as prize. This is to ensure that all goods taken as prize reach a prize court. If goods are held by a prize court to have been captured lawfully they may be removed from the ship or aircraft. Goods may also be removed for safe-keeping, and where they are required for necessary use by the armed forces or their allies.

114.A ship or aircraft may be detained either under legislation which authorises detention, or under international law where the UK is a party to an armed conflict. International law permits the detention of foreign ships and aircraft in certain circumstances other than as prize. Under subsection (3) it is an offence to interfere unlawfully with goods on a detained ship or aircraft. Where interference is permitted under international law it will also be lawful under domestic law in the UK.

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