Criminal Finances Act
The Criminal Finances Bill received Royal Assent on 27 April 2017 and is now known as The Criminal Finances Act 2017. The new Act gives law enforcement agencies greater powers to recover the proceeds of crime, tackle money laundering, tax evasion and corruption, and terrorist financing.
- A new provision for the issue of an ‘unexplained wealth order’ which can require those suspected of serious crime or corruption to explain the sources of their wealth.
- The creation of a new criminal offence for corporations who fail to prevent their staff from facilitating tax evasion.
- Allowing for the seizure and forfeiture of proceeds of crime and terrorist money stored in bank accounts and certain personal or moveable items.
- An increase in the time periods allowed for law enforcement agencies to investigate suspicious transactions.
- Extension of disclosure orders to cover money laundering and terrorist finance investigations.
- Extending the civil recovery powers in the Proceeds of Crime Act to allow for the recovery of the proceeds of gross human rights abuses or violations in the UK and overseas.
The key provisions of the Act are expected to come into force later this year.