Concealing offences

Ashmans solicitors – specialist lawyers representing suspects and defendants of concealing offences

In both section 372 of the Criminal Law Act 1996 and section 5.93C of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 it is stated that it is illegal to conceal criminal property. Whether this is a weapon used in an assault or the proceeds of a money laundering operation, even if you did not take part in the principal offence, it is an offence to:

⦁    Conceal criminal property,
⦁    Disguise criminal property,
⦁    Convert criminal property,
⦁    Transfer criminal property, or
⦁    Remove criminal property from England or Wales.

If you are facing questioning by the police you should call us immediately on our 24/7 criminal defence line
07956 352 945. Free advice and representation whilst in the police station is free to all, no matter what your financial situation.

It is an either way offence. A person convicted of an offence under this section is liable to imprisonment for 14 years or a fine or both.

Concealing or disguising criminal property is defined as concealing or disguising its nature, source, location, disposition, movement or ownership or any rights with respect to it [POCA section 327(3)].

As noted above the offender has to "know or suspect" that the criminal property represents a benefit from criminal conduct (by virtue of section 340 POCA). The prosecution can also rely on circumstantial evidence from which a jury can draw inferences that the defendant had the necessary knowledge or suspicion.

It is necessary therefore to prove:

⦁    the act of concealing, disguising etc;
⦁    in relation to property;
⦁    which was a benefit from criminal conduct; and
⦁    that the defendant knew or suspected that the property represented a benefit from criminal conduct.

(2)But a person does not commit such an offence if—
(a)he makes an authorised disclosure under section 338 and (if the disclosure is made before he does the act mentioned in subsection (1)) he has the appropriate consent;
(b)he intended to make such a disclosure but had a reasonable excuse for not doing so;
(c)the act he does is done in carrying out a function he has relating to the enforcement of any provision of this Act or of any other enactment relating to criminal conduct or benefit from criminal conduct.

The offence under s 5 of the Criminal Law Act 1967 of accepting or agreeing to accept consideration for not disclosing information that might assist in convicting or prosecuting someone who has committed an indictable offence for which an adult could be sentenced to five years' or more imprisonment or the penalty is fixed by law (consideration here does not include reasonable compensation for loss or injury caused by the offence). There is also a special statutory offence of advertising a reward for stolen goods on the basis that ‘no questions will be asked’ or that the person producing the goods ‘will be safe from inquiry’ (s 23, Theft Act 1968).

(3)Concealing or disguising criminal property includes concealing or disguising its nature, source, location, disposition, movement or ownership or any rights with respect to it.

Concealing offences – drug related criminal property

In the UK, controlled drugs are classified under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Under this act, it is an offence to:

•    Unlawfully possess a controlled drug
•    Possess a controlled drug with intent to supply it
•    To unlawfully supply (sell/give/share) a controlled drug
•    To allow premises (i.e. your house) you own or manage to be used for the smoking or use of drugs

The Police can approach and search you if they have ‘reasonable suspicion’ that you may be in possession of a controlled drug.

Concealing offences – money laundering

Concealing offences – information about an indicatable offence

concealing an arrestable offence: s.5 Criminal Law Act 1967. – perverting the course of justice
concealing or destroying evidence concerning a police investigation to avoid arrest;

Penalties for concealing offences or giving false information.
(1)Where a person has committed [F1a relevant offence], any other person who, knowing or believing that the offence or some [F2other relevant offence] has been committed, and that he has information which might be of material assistance in securing the prosecution or conviction of an offender for it, accepts or agrees to accept for not disclosing that information any consideration other than the making good of loss or injury caused by the offence, or the making of reasonable compensation for that loss or injury, shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for not more than two years.

(2)Where a person causes any wasteful employment of the police (wasting police time) by knowingly making to any person a false report tending to show that an offence has been committed, or to give rise to apprehension for the safety of any persons or property, or tending to show that he has information material to any police inquiry, he shall be liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for not more than six months or to a fine of not more than [F3level 4 on the standard scale] or to both.

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Have you been arrested by the police or charged with any Fraud matter? If so, call Ashmans Solicitors in confidence now on 03330 096 275 (24hrs).

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