Proposed amendments to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2008 (POCA) and the Anti-Terrorism and Crime Act 2003 (ATCA) in respect of Tipping-off

Closed 11 Apr 2019

Opened 6 Mar 2019

Feedback Updated 22 Aug 2019

We Asked

A public consultation was undertaken by the Cabinet Office between the 6 March 2019 and 11 April 2019 to seek comments on proposed amendments to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2008 and Anti-Terrorism and Crime Act 2003.

The proposed amendments sought to address a number of technical compliance deficiencies and other issues highlighted in the MONEYVAL Mutual Evaluation Report of the Isle of Man, pertaining to tipping-off.

The MONEYVAL assessors considered that legislation in respect of tipping-off was set too narrowly as tipping-off only occurs in IoM legislation when disclosure that a suspicious activity report (SAR) has been made is likely to prejudice an investigation. This is not commensurate with FATF ‘Recommendation 21 – Tipping-Off and Confidentiality’.

It was therefore proposed that the tipping-off offence in POCA was amended and that a new tipping-off offence was introduced in ATCA compliant with FATF Recommendation 21 but that further allows proper liaison within the regulated and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBP) sectors when suspicions are held and to provide for voluntary information sharing, in certain circumstances.

You Said

In total, the Cabinet Office received 3 responses to the consultation.

The responses highlighted concerns in respect of the proposed ‘voluntary information sharing` provisions, as it was believed that the amendments would go beyond FATF requirements and could lead to an unnecessary increased risk of tipping-off.

We Did

We would like to thank those that took the time to answer the consultation.

Following the consultation period a decision was made not to proceed with the proposed amendments in respect of ‘voluntary information sharing within the regulated sector` and that these provisions would reviewed at a later date; preferably when there was more evidence available to support the effectiveness of this measure in the UK.

The amendments that detail the circumstances in which a tipping-off offence is committed, shall be the only provision to remain from the consultation; this will be laid before Tynwald for approval in the coming months.

Overview

We are seeking to obtain views on proposed amendments to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2008 and the Anti-Terrorism and Crime Act 2003. These proposed amendments seek to address a number of technical compliance deficiencies and other issues highlighted in the MONEYVAL Mutual Evaluation report of the Isle of Man, pertaining to tipping-off.

Why We Are Consulting

The MONEYVAL Mutual Evaluation Report of the Isle of Man identified that legislation in relation to tipping-off was set too narrowly. Currently tipping-off only occurs in Isle of Man legislation when a disclosure is deemed likely to prejudice an investigation. This is not commensurate with FATF Recommendation 21 – Tipping-Off and Confidentiality, which does not specify that an investigation needs to be underway for tipping-off to take place. 

The Cabinet Office, in consultation with the Financial Intelligence Unit and other relevant authorities, seek to remedy this deficiency by amending the relevant sections of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2008 and the Anti-Terrorism and Crime Act 2003.

What Happens Next

The Cabinet Office, in consultation with the FIU and other relevant authorities, including the Financial Crime Strategic Board, will take into account the feedback from the consultation prior to determining whether the draft Orders require amending.  Any changes made to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2008 and the Anti-Terrorism and Crime Act 2003 by way of an Order are also subject to a two-stage Twynwald procedure.

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