Proceeds of Crime in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • R v Waya (Terry)
    • Supreme Court
    • 14 Nov 2012

    The purpose of the legislation is plainly, and has repeatedly been held to be, to impose upon convicted defendants a severe regime for removing from them their proceeds of crime. It does not, however, follow that its deterrent qualities represent the essence (or the "grain") of the legislation. They are, no doubt, an incident of it, but they are not its essence. Its essence, and its frequently declared purpose, is to remove from criminals the pecuniary proceeds of their crime.

    Although these propositions involve the possibility of removing from the defendant by way of confiscation order a sum larger than may in fact represent his net proceeds of crime, they are consistent with the statute's objective and represent proportionate means of achieving it.

    Similarly, it can be accepted that the scheme of the Act, and of previous confiscation legislation, is to focus on the value of the defendant's obtained proceeds of crime, whether retained or not. It is an important part of the scheme that even if the proceeds have been spent, a confiscation order up to the value of the proceeds will follow against legitimately acquired assets to the extent that they are available for realisation.

    The case of a defendant such as was considered in Morgan and Bygrave is, however, a different one. To make a confiscation order in his case, when he has restored to the loser any proceeds of crime which he had ever had, is disproportionate. It would not achieve the statutory objective of removing his proceeds of crime but would simply be an additional financial penalty.

  • R v Rezvi
    • House of Lords
    • 24 Jan 2002

    It is a notorious fact that professional and habitual criminals frequently take steps to conceal their profits from crime. Effective but fair powers of confiscating the proceeds of crime are therefore essential. The provisions of the 1988 Act are aimed at depriving such offenders of the proceeds of their criminal conduct. Its purposes are to punish convicted offenders, to deter the commission of further offences and to reduce the profits available to fund further criminal enterprises.

  • R v Steven William Montila and Others
    • House of Lords
    • 25 Nov 2004

    A person may have reasonable grounds to suspect that property is one thing (A) when in fact it is something different (B). But that is not so when the question is what a person knows. A person cannot know that something is A when in fact it is B. The proposition that a person knows that something is A is based on the premise that it is true that it is A. The fact that the property is A provides the starting point. Then there is the question whether the person knows that the property is A.

  • Webb v Chief Constable of Merseyside Police. ; Chief Constable of Merseyside Police v Porter and Another
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 26 Nov 1999

    Although from the Chief Constable's perspective the money is the proceeds of crime, from another perspective the court should not, in my view, countenance expropriation by a public authority of money or property belonging to an individual for which there is no statutory authority. I recognise that there may be circumstances where for a variety of reasons a prosecution may not take place.

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Books & Journal Articles
  • Taxing the Proceeds of Crime
    • Nbr. 8-2, April 2000
    • Journal of Financial Crime
    • 136-144
    Organised crime groups, in particular drug traffickers, generate considerable amounts of money from their criminal activities. Over the last two decades jurisdictions around the world have therefor...
  • Taxing the Proceeds of Crime
    • Nbr. 1-2, February 1997
    • Journal of Money Laundering Control
    • 117-124
    Illegally acquired gains are taxable, according to the judge‐made law of common law countries. Revenue codes are surprisingly silent on the subject. For a short while, though, things were different...
  • Knowledge Management in the Proceeds of Crime Community
    • Nbr. 8-3, January 2001
    • Journal of Financial Crime
    • 207-217
    The title of this paper immediately raises a number of issues. Is there such an entity as ‘the proceeds of crime community’? If such an entity exists, can it be ‘managed’? What role does knowledge ...
  • Tax Evasion: Update on the Proceeds of Crime Debate
    • Nbr. 3-4, February 2000
    • Journal of Money Laundering Control
    • 371-372
    This paper considers the argument that the financial benefit (or ‘pecuniary advantage’) derived from tax evasion does not represent the proceeds of crime for the purposes of the money‐laundering le...
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Law Firm Commentaries
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