Proceeds of crime – search and seizure of cash: Appointed Person's report 2016-2017

Report on the exercise of powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 regarding search and seizure of cash.

The Appointed Person

This is my final report as the Appointed Person appointed by the Scottish Ministers pursuant to sections 127I(1) and 290(8)(b) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 ('the Act') and article 65H(1) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (External Requests and Orders) Order 2005 ("the Order"). It covers the year ended 31 March 2017.

The Appointed Person is independent of government and by virtue of sections 290(9) and 127H(5) of the Act and article 65G(5) of the Order must not be employed under or for the purposes of any government department or of the Scottish Administration.

The original role of the Appointed Person was to provide independent oversight of the exercise, without prior judicial authority, of the powers to search for cash conferred by section 289 of the Act. In June 2015 the role was extended to the oversight, in prescribed circumstances, of the exercise of the new powers to seize and search for realisable property conferred by sections 127C, 127D, 127E, and 127F of that Act [1] . In November 2015 the role was further extended to cover the oversight of the circumstances and manner in which broadly equivalent powers of search and seizure in respect of external requests and orders were exercised without prior judicial authority. [2] [3]

Sections 127I and 291 of the Act and article 65H of the Order provide that as soon as practicable after 31 March each year the Appointed Person must make a report and send a copy of it to the Scottish Ministers who must arrange for it to be laid before the Scottish Parliament. In that report the Appointed Person must 'give his opinion as to the circumstances and manner in which the powers conferred by' these provisions 'are being exercised' in cases where prior judicial approval for the seizure or search was not obtained and either nothing was seized or anything that was seized was not detained for more than 48 hours. The report may also set out any recommendations the Appointed Person considers appropriate.


Email: Alan Nicholson,

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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