Activities such as hiding or transforming criminal property under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) in 2002 are considered criminals. According to the law, Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR) should be prepared for money laundering and terrorist financing activities in all regulated institutions, and this report should be submitted to the competent authority.
Overview Proceeds Of Crime Act
The Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) 2002 is a legislation that exists in the UK. POCA came into effect on 14 June 2000 after the release of the new government policy. POCA deals with the process of recovering assets obtained illegally. POCA aims to prevent and seize revenues from money laundering and terrorist financing activities carried out through institutions. In this way, it aims to minimize criminals who hide and transfer money and assets. POCA may cooperate with money laundering investigation powers in the UK and anti-money laundering with the UK regulatory agencies. POCA is divided into 12 parts. Some of these chapters apply to the entire UK, such as Chapter 7. Chapter 7 contains the laws of the UK anti-money laundering and terrorist financing.
Some Situations That Change With The POCA in The UK
- Prosecutors had to work with two different legal regimes in money laundering cases prior to the 2002 Act. With this law, the work of prosecutors has become much easier.
- The law gave the police and customs authority to seize illegal money, which they thought was related to financial crime, and they believed in it.
- With the law, the need to prove what the crime is to save assets has been removed.
- With the law, more pressure was put on regulated institutions to explain suspicious transactions.
- With the law, necessary courts were opened at the beginning of the criminal investigation to freeze the assets of the suspects.
The Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) 2002 Chapter 7 on Anti Money Laundering
Chapter 7 of POCA contains money laundering laws that comply with the UK. Money laundering is widely defined in the UK, which has one of Europe's developed economies and the world. In the UK, it is forbidden to hide the real source of the income obtained from any crime and to take any action with this income, and it is considered a crime. In the UK, the money laundering crime does not have to involve money, that is, anything was stolen in the UK, and a legal source of this stolen is not recognized as a money-laundering activity and may also be sued for any money laundering activity. As a result, those who have committed any acquired crime in the UK are considered to have committed money laundering crime under the law.
Money launders are given some penalties depending on the size of their activities. These penalties can sometimes be fined or sometimes imprisoned. In the UK, these criminals are sentenced to a maximum of 14 years in prison. Financial institutions must comply with regulations and laws to be protected from these penalties and not have lawsuits or to lose internal reputation, and institutions have to report any suspicious activity that has taken place.
The Impact of POCA on Institutions
With POCA, anti-money laundering courts in the UK have become simpler. According to POCA, financial crimes such as money laundering and terrorist financing are strictly a crime. In this case, it will be punished not only by those who commit criminal activity but also by persons and institutions that commit or prevent this crime. In fact, if a suspicious transaction was made at a financial institution and the Money Laundering Report Officer (MLRO) does not report it to the competent authority, the institution or person is subject to certain penalties. Depending on the size of these fines may be fines or penalties. As a result, reporting suspicious transactions is very important, and this issue is highlighted in this law. With this law, financial institutions were put under pressure to report.
Investigators and Prosecutors may request a Restriction Order against suspects at an early stage of the money laundering proceedings with POCA. The Restriction Order can be obtained privately without the knowledge of the suspect. The impact of this can be devastating for clients of institutions and prevents payment of financial transactions such as invoices and credit cards. In addition, the criminal court has the right to confiscate assets that prosecutors believe are the income of the crime.