A short guide explaining what POCA is and what to do if you or, in case you are an accounting professional or another professional consultant, if an individual is looked into.
WHAT IS POCA?
The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (“POCA“) lays out the law in relation to the recovery of criminal resources with the criminal being one of the most commonly utilised energy. Appropriation normally only occurs following a sentence has transpired. The 2002 Act organised previous legislation and provided in which of might be recovered where there has been no sentence i.e. cash seizure, domestic recovery etc
Simply put, the primary objective of POCA 2002 is to close technicalities as well as deny criminals of utilising their assets, restore the proceeds of crime and to reveal that crime does not compensate. It likewise has the impact of causing company people to reevaluate before carrying out a criminal enterprise and for those who advise this kind of people to give sturdy advice to ensure that such criminal enterprises don’t get going.
Between 2010 and 2014 the Home Office has suggested in which more than ₤ 746 countless unlawful assets have been seized. More than the equivalent duration, assets worth more than ₤ 2.5 billion have been suspended denying lawbreakers accessibility to these kinds of assets and ₤ 93 million has been gone back to victims. As of December 2014, there were nearly 1,250 live confiscation orders under the accountability of the Crown Prosecution Service, amounting to virtually ₤ 500 million, of that 31.5% was considered collectable.
Moreover, the 2002 Act provides a number of investigative powers and tools:
search and seizure;
production orders and disclosure orders;
orders for of resources to prevent resources being disposed to a confiscation order being imposed.
The Act is extensive as well as embarks on the legislative schemes of retrieval that is divided into parts. The relevant elements for POCA cases that arise in England are:
Part 2: Confiscation in England and Wales
Part 5: Civil Recovery, including cash seizure
Part 6: Revenue Functions
Part 7: Money Laundering
Part 8: Investigation
All cases need to be dealt with on an individual basis so suspects need to seek expert advice on such cases as soon as possible.
If you are a professional person connected with a client that is following investigation you must not: conceal, dispose of or otherwise deal with resources when an investigation is in progress or you will end up in the dock too; or advise a client that an investigation is underway. You can advise and should advise that what a client proposes to do with a resource is not really in his/her greatest interests ie is unlawful, or disregard the client’s phone call when he/she states that HMRC or the Police have called at his/her offices.