Accessibility |

COPFS

Proceeds of Crime (R012185)

Proceeds of Crime (R012185)

Thank you for your request dated 25 January 2016 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for the undernoted information:

 


“1/ The total value of cars recovered in Scotland under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 legislation over the past three years.

2/ Details of the 10 most expensive cars recovered during this three year period, including the estimated value of each, the areas each was seized from and the names of each owner.

3/ The total value of property stolen under Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 legislation in Scotland over the past three years.

4/ Details of the 10 most expensive properties recovered in this period, including the name of the street each property was based, the estimated value of each property, and the names of each owner.

5/ The total value of jewellery seized under POCA legislation over the past three years.

6/ Details of the five most expensive jewellery items recovered during this period, including the estimated value of each piece, the areas each jewellery item came from and the names of each owner.

7/ Please send information about the process taken to sell assets seized under POCA legislation, including where they are sold e.g. at auction”

I also refer to our telephone conversation of 18 February 2016 where you clarified that your request at Point 3 above should read “The total value of properties recovered”.

It may be useful if I begin by setting out some background in respect of the civil recovery regime under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (2002 Act). The Civil Recovery Unit (CRU) acts on behalf of the Scottish Ministers in exercise of their functions under Part 5 of the 2002 Act.  The civil recovery functions of the CRU are exercised independently of the prosecutorial functions of the rest of COPFS.  Whilst criminal confiscation targets persons, civil recovery targets assets which are or which represent the proceeds of crime, and recovers them. 

The CRU handles all actions for non-conviction based asset forfeiture in Scotland.  CRU functions under the 2002 Act can be divided into two areas; asset recovery and cash forfeiture.  Cash forfeiture cases are heard in the Sheriff Court.  Other assets are dealt with by proceedings raised in the Court of Session.

On the application of the CRU on behalf of the Scottish Ministers, money seized by law enforcement officers under the cash recovery provisions of the 2002 Act can be detained and then forfeited by the Sheriff Court.  Forfeited cash is remitted to the Scottish Consolidated Fund.

Where proceedings are to be brought on behalf of the Scottish Ministers for the recovery of non-cash assets, the assets may be secured pending recovery by one of two types of Court order.  The first is an interim administration order (IAO); the second is a prohibitory property order (PPO).  Both of these orders are granted by the Court of Session following applications by the CRU.

The CRU does not exercise seizure powers, other than in relation to search warrants granted under Section 387 of the 2002 Act.  Alternatively, an interim administrator appointed under Section 256 of the 2002 Act may exercise seizure powers under Schedule 6 of the 2002 Act.

Where the Scottish Ministers are able to satisfy the Court of Session that property has been obtained unlawfully, the Court pronounces a recovery order under Section 266 of the 2002 Act in respect of that property.  The effect of such recovery order is that the property is immediately vested in the Trustee for Civil Recovery (the Scottish Ministers’ nominee).  The function of the Trustee is to realise the value of the property.  Realised funds are then transferred to the Scottish Consolidated Fund and provided to Cashback for Communities for use in projects across Scotland.

I will now turn to your specific requests:

  • The total value of cars recovered in Scotland under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 legislation over the past three years.
  • Details of the 10 most expensive cars recovered during this three year period, including the estimated value of each, the areas each was seized from and the names of each owner.
I can advise that the CRU have not recovered any cars in the time period requested, accordingly the value of cars recovered is nil.

  • The total value of properties recovered under Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 legislation in Scotland over the past three years.
Since February 2012, the CRU has obtained recovery orders under Section 266 of the 2002 Act in respect of heritable property worth a total of £2,094,600.00

  • Details of the 10 most expensive properties recovered in this period, including the name of the street each property was based, the estimated value of each property, and the names of each owner.
I have noted below the details requested on the 10 most expensive properties recovered in this period, providing the area, the estimated value of the property and who the property was recovered from.  I consider that the name of the street is exempt from release as this could lead to identification of subsequent owners of the properties referred to and accordingly this information is exempt from release under Section 38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA.  This exemption applies because the information is personal data of a third party and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998.  This is an absolute exemption and there is no requirement to consider the public interest.

1.   Edinburgh – £665,000 – Peneta Investments Limited

2.   Glasgow – £235,100 – Arthur Martin

3.   Dumbarton – current value unknown but bought by Tracy Donaldson in 2009 for £190,000;

4.    Renfrew - £181,000 – Christopher O’Neil;

5.   Dunfermline – £160,000 – Heather Jackson;

6.   Saltcoats – £151,500 – Alan McIntyre;

7.   Glasgow - £136,500 – Jean McGovern;

8.   Dunfermline – £73,000 – Heather Jackson;

9.   Glasgow – £60,000 – Alan McIntyre;

10. Saltcoats - £55,000 – Lima Properties Limited.

  • The total value of jewellery seized under POCA legislation over the past three years.
As explained above, the CRU has very limited seizure powers.  The CRU has not seized any jewellery in the time period requested.

  • Details of the five most expensive jewellery items recovered during this period, including the estimated value of each piece, the areas each jewellery item came from and the names of each owner.
I have noted below details of the five most expensive jewellery items recovered during this period, including the estimated value of each piece.  All items of jewellery were recovered from the Central Belt and were recovered from Yvette Booth.

1.   Single stone diamond ring (stone est to be 2.04 cts) Auction estimate £1800-£2500.

2.   18ct white gold diamond set bracelet. Auction estimate £1300 to £2000

3.   18ct white gold diamond set bracelet. Auction estimate £1300 to £2000

4.   18ct white gold diamond set bracelet. Auction estimate £1300-£2000.

5.   Collection of gold bangles. Auction estimate £800 to £1200.

The prices quoted are the auctioneer's estimates only. The items may make more or less. All items are offered subject to a discretionary reserve – in other words if there is insufficient interest the auctioneer will not sell at knock down prices. Unsold items will be held pending another auction or will be sold as bullion.

  • Please send information about the process taken to sell assets seized under POCA legislation, including where they are sold e.g. at auction

As noted above, the CRU has very limited seizure powers.  Where a recovery order is pronounced the property immediately vests in the Trustee for Civil Recovery.  By virtue of Section 267(5) of the 2002 Act the Trustee has a duty to realise the value of property vested in him/her, so far as practicable, in the manner best calculated to maximise the amount payable to the enforcement authority.

In respect of each asset recovered the Trustee will determine the most appropriate manner in which to realise that asset, having regard to Section 267(5) of the 2002 Act.  That may result in heritable properties being sold either at auction or through an estate agency process.