The UK Government has announced on its website that the Criminal Finances Bill (the Bill) has received Royal Assent becoming an Act. Our earlier blog entry on the Bill can be found here.

The Act is a key element of the UK Government’s Action Plan for anti-money laundering and the counter-financing of terrorism (blogged here).

The Act:

  • creates unexplained wealth orders which can require those suspected of serious crime or corruption to explain the sources of their wealth;
  • creates new criminal offences for corporations who fail to prevent their staff from facilitating tax evasion;
  • enables the seizure and forfeiture of proceeds of crime and terrorist money stored in bank accounts and certain personal or moveable items;
  • provides legal protections for the sharing of information between regulated companies and extends the time period granted to law enforcement agencies to investigate suspicious transactions;
  • extends disclosure orders to cover money laundering and terrorist finance investigations; and
  • extends the existing civil recovery regime in the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to allow for the recovery of the proceeds of gross human rights abuses or violations overseas.

View Criminal Finances Act 2017, 27 April 2017