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COPFS

Proceeds of Crime

Freedom of inforamtion: Proceeds of Crime

"What happens to items, money, drugs, cars obtained by the crown through forfeiture.

What happens to items, money, drugs, cars obtained by the crown through confiscation procedures.

In what circumstance would the Crown choose to use forfeiture over confiscation or vice versa.

Can you please send me a list of everything which the crown has recovered by forfeiture every year since 2008.

Can you break it down per court within the sheriffdom of Grampian, Highlands and Islands, into:

Items such as weapons, computer equipment, scales etc

Money - how much each year from each court?

Drugs in quantities how much from each court?

Cars, types and values from each court.

Anything else confiscated

Can you send me a list of everything which has been confiscated by the Crown each year broken down in the same way as the forfeited items for every year since 2008."

I have provided a response under each of your headings

It might assist if I begin by explaining that there are two specialist units within COPFS which deal with work under the Proceeds of Crime Act, namely

 Criminal confiscation which is dealt with by the Serious and Organised Crime Division (SOCD); and

 Civil recovery which is dealt with by the Civil Recovery Unit (CRU).

The SOCD deals with restraints and confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 on behalf of COPFS.

• What happens to items, money, drugs, cars obtained by the crown through forfeiture.

We do endeavour to provide information whenever possible, however, in terms of Section 17(1) of FOISA that this information is not held by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) as items that are forfeited after court proceedings are forfeited by the Court and not the Procurator Fiscal.

• What happens to items, money, drugs, cars obtained by the crown through confiscation procedures.

In answering this request, I think it would be helpful to clarify that the Crown does not confiscate property. A confiscation order is an order of the Court, following conviction. The person who is the subject of the order is required by the Court to make payment of a fixed sum of money reflecting the benefit obtained from his or her criminal conduct or, in appropriate cases, from a criminal lifestyle. In criminal confiscation cases the Crown does not seize and sell assets. Any money paid in satisfaction of a confiscation order is paid to the Scottish Consolidated Fund

• In what circumstance would the Crown choose to use forfeiture over confiscation of vice versa

The aim of the criminal confiscation provisions of Proceeds of Crime legislation is to allow the court to make a confiscation order requiring an accused to pay a fixed sum of money reflecting the benefit obtained from either particular criminal conduct, or, in appropriate cases, from a criminal lifestyle case. A criminal confiscation order is an order to pay a fixed sum of money and is entirely separate from forfeiture of items such as cars, cash and drugs relating the commission of the crime itself.

In a particular criminal conduct case, the benefit relates directly to the offence or offences before the court. In a general criminal conduct/criminal lifestyle case, by the use of statutory assumptions in POCA, the court is entitled to assume that any benefit received over the preceding 6 year period has been obtained in connection with his general criminal conduct unless the accused establishes that it was obtained legitimately. In such criminal lifestyle/general criminal conduct cases, such benefit does not require to be linked to the offence or offences of which the accused is convicted nor to any previous offences.

The upper limit of a confiscation order is the amount of benefit which the accused has made from his general criminal conduct. This is known as the "recoverable amount". If, however, the accused can satisfy the court that the "available amount" (ie, the realisable value of the property which he or she holds) is less than the recoverable amount, then the confiscation order will be made for the available amount.

Additionally, under the Proceeds of Crime Act, there are provisions which allow the Crown after an order is made – should further information come to light either that there are more assets available/there is further offending – to ask the Court to reconsider and increase the available amount of the confiscation order.

• Can you please send me a list of everything which the crown has recovered by forfeiture every year since 2008.

• Can you break it down per court within the sheriffdom of Grampian, Highlands and Islands, into:

Items such as weapons, computer equipment, scales etc

Money - how much each year from each court?

Drugs in quantities how much from each court?

Cars, types and values from each court.

Anything else confiscated

As indicated above, in terms of Section 17(1) of FOISA that this information is not routinely collated by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS). Items that are forfeited after court proceedings are forfeited by the Court and not the Procurator Fiscal.

• Can you send me a list of everything which has been confiscated by the Crown each year broken down in the same way as the forfeited items for every year since 2008."

As explained above, the Crown does not confiscate property. A confiscation order is an order of the Court, following conviction, whereby the subject of the order is required to make payment of a fixed sum of money reflecting the benefit obtained from his or her criminal conduct or, in appropriate cases, from a criminal lifestyle. In criminal confiscation cases the Crown does not seize and sell assets. Any money paid in satisfaction of a confiscation order is paid to the Scottish Consolidated Fund

I attach a table below showing the confiscation order made within the courts of the Sheriffdom of Grampian, Highland and Islands for the dates requested.

As stated above, the upper limit of a confiscation order is the amount of benefit which the accused has made from his general criminal conduct. This is known as the recoverable amount. If, however, the accused can satisfy the court that the available amount (ie, the realisable property which he or she holds) is less than the recoverable amount, then the confiscation order will be made for the available amount.

April 2008 - April 2009

         

Name of Accused

HC/SC

Date of Order

Drugs or Other

Proceeds of Crime

Realisable Assets

Order for

Eric Robb Cameron

Aberdeen SC

18-Aug-08

Drugs

£85,150.73

£3,300.00

£3,300.00

Kellie Williamson

Aberdeen SC

11-Sep-08

Drugs

£173,690.55

£12,000.00

£12,000.00

Andrew Murray

Inverness SC

12-May-08

Drugs

£49,000.00

£37,000.00

£37,000.00

William Ross Fraser

Inverness SC

3-Jun-08

Drugs

£47,403.82

£22,000.00

£22,000.00

Neil Gillies

Inverness SC

10-Jun-08

Uttering & Embezzlement

£9,000.00

£9,000.00

£9,000.00

Mary Jenny Allan

Inverness SC

27-Aug-08

Drugs

£22,500.00

£22,500.00

£22,500.00

George Gilbert Scott Findlay

Lerwick SC

22-Oct-08

Drugs

£132,742.36

£8,500.00

£8,500.00

April 2009 - April 2010

         

Name of Accused

HC/SC

Date of Order

Drugs or Other

Proceeds of Crime

Realisable Assets

Order for

             

George Frederick Thompson

Aberdeen

17-Jul-09

Drugs

£133,987.95

£6,750.00

£6,750.00

James McAllister

Aberdeen

20-Aug-09

Drugs

£38,957.54

£622.41

£622.41

Thompson, David Theophilus

Aberdeen

21-Sep-09

Drugs

£95,000.00

£32,667.14

£32,667.14

David Wilson

Elgin SC

24-Mar-10

Drugs

£17,500.00

£17,500.00

£17,500.00

Keith Milson

Inverness SC

6-May-09

Drugs

£57,458.84

£57,458.84

£57,458.84

William Elliot McCann

Inverness SC

28-Sep-09

Drugs

£61,809.58

£10,931.84

£10,931.84

Fiona Begg

Peterhead SC

26-Nov-09

Counterfeiting

£104,989.68

£104,989.68

£104,989.68

Sheena Scott

Wick SC

28-Aug-09

Embezzlement

£56,110.38

£16,989.71

£16,989.71

April 2010 - April 2011

         

Name of Accused

HC/SC

Date of Order

Drugs or Other

Proceeds of Crime

Realisable Assets

Order for

Mazar Hussain

Aber SC

12-Jan-11

Drugs

£67,000.00

£67,000.00

£67,000.00

Michael Dawson

Aber SC

26-Jan-11

Drugs

£8,019.68

£1,250.00

£1,250.00

Myles McDonald

Aber SC

30-Mar-11

Drugs

£102,493.00

£5,168.33

£5,168.33

David Neilson

Elgin SC

27-Jan-11

Drugs

£502,166.44

£262,810.00

£262,810.00

Calum Menzies

Forfar SC

22-Jul-10

Drugs

£117,303.09

£106,000.00

£106,000.00

April 2011 - April 2012

         

Name of Accused

HC/SC

Date of Order

Drugs or Other

Proceeds of Crime

Realisable Assets

Order for

David Farquhar

Aber SC

13-Apr-11

Drugs

£6,139.86

£6,139.86

£6,139.86

Gillian Morris

Aber SC

29-Jul-11

Benefit Fraud

£56,841.58

£46,855.83

£46,855.83

Christopher Archibald

Aber SC

5-Aug-11

Drugs

£18,835.00

£13,755.00

£13,755.00

Barry Steward

Aber SC

30-Sep-11

Drugs

£104,650.94

£104,650.94

£104,650.94

Duke Barnett

Aber SC

27-Oct-11

Drugs

£32,000.00

£24,218.74

£24,218.74

Kate Smeaton

Banff SC

7-Feb-12

Benefit Fraud

£11,800.00

£11,800.00

£11,800.00

Paul Ross

Elgin SC

10-May-11

Drugs

£81,744.68

£81,744.68

£81,744.68

David Neilson

Elgin SC

8-Dec-11

Drugs

£502,166.44

£29,330.74

£29,330.74

Brian Ritchie

Peter SC

26-May-11

Drugs

£66,133.00

£60,000.00

£60,000.00

April 2012 - April 2013

         

Name of Accused

HC/SC

Date of Order

Drugs or Other

Proceeds of Crime

Realisable Assets

Order for

Robert Cherry

Aber HC

11-Apr-12

Drugs

£59,547.50

£392.50

£392.50

Heather McKay

Aber SC

4-Jul-12

Benefit Fraud

£7,000.00

£7,000.00

£7,000.00

Tracy Lorraine Santo

Aber SC

6-Sep-12

Theft (Lifestyle)

£69,816.68

£16,560.48

£16,560.48

Jack Downie

Aber SC

7-Feb-13

Embezzlement - Particular

£386,004.12

£187,300.00

£187,300.00

Joan MacKenzie

Inver SC

04-Apr-12

Drugs

£23,117.94

£23,117.94

£23,117.94

Jake Millar

Inver SC

5-Sep-12

Drugs (Lifestyle)

£6,100.00

£1,500.00

£1,500.00

Cyril Williamson

Inver SC

19-Dec-12

Drugs - Particular

£10,240.00

£1,240.00

£1,240.00

Craig Lobban

Inver SC

18-Jan-13

Drugs - Lifestyle

£1,134.66

£800.00

£800.00

Norman Martin Robertson

Inver SC

14-Feb-13

Benefit Fraud - Particular

£34,643.68

£33,000.00

£33,000.00

April 2013 - April 2014

         

Name of Accused

HC/SC

Date of Order

Drugs or Other

Proceeds of Crime

Realisable Assets

Order for

Gordon, Nathan

Aberdeen

25-Apr-13

Drugs

£269.27

£269.27

£269.27

Hutchison, Michael

Aberdeen

1-May-13

Other - Benefit Fraud

£2,661.08

£12,661.08

£12,661.08

Davies, Perry Martin

Aberdeen

4-Jun-13

Drugs

£645.43

£225.43

£225.43

Kewley, David

Banff

7-Nov-13

Drugs

£1,235.98

£1,235.98

£1,235.98

Holden, John

Inverness

20-May-13

Other - Benefit Fraud

£43,572.95

£34,082.78

£34,082.78

Nemburt, Engin

Stonehaven

24-Jul-13

Other - Criminal Justice (SCOTLAND) Act 2003 S22(1)(a)(i)

£28,000.00

£1,940.00

£1,940.00

Ruddy, James

Tain

27-Aug-13

Other - Customs & Excise Management Act 1979 S170(2)(A)

£3,217.50

£1,302.59

£1,302.59

 

The CRU acts on behalf of the Scottish Ministers as the enforcement authority for Scotland under Part 5 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. CRU functions under the 2002 Act can be divided into two areas; asset recovery and cash forfeiture. Cash forfeiture cases only are heard in the Sheriff Court, other assets are dealt with by proceedings raised in the Court of Session.

CRU functions under the 2002 Act can be divided into two areas; cash forfeiture and asset recovery. The work can be described as non-conviction based asset recovery and as such is distinct from the criminal confiscation processes, which relies on a criminal conviction being secured in the first instance.

Cash seized by law enforcement officers under the cash recovery provisions of POCA 2002 can be detailed and then forfeited by the Sheriff Court, on application of the CRU. Cash forfeited by the Court is remitted to the Scottish Consolidated Fund.

Specifically, the amounts of cash forfeited under the cash provisions of POCA 2002 Act in the Grampian, Highland and Islands sheriffdom were:

Year to 31 March

2007/08

2008/09

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

Aberdeen SC

56,464.31

79,958.19

126,511.69

109,262.20

144,081.85

146,657.68

Banff SC

0.00

0.00

1,230.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

Dingwall SC

1,145.00

3,770.00

0.00

0.00

1,000.00

0.00

Dornoch SC

1,020.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

Elgin SC

2,972.50

4,226.59

14,035.00

3,267.04

6,564.19

1,085.00

Fort William SC

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

1,000.00

0.00

Inverness SC

18,646.00

27,341.01

36,072.22

33,729.40

35,072.17

31,520.00

Kirkwall SC

0.00

0.00

2,922.00

1,218.08

0.00

0.00

Lerwick SC

0.00

0.00

0.00

1,200.00

0.00

0.00

Peterhead SC

1,300.00

2,721.00

18,103.05

28,810.05

8,892.81

1,000.00

Stonehaven SC

7,138.95

0.00

2,060.95

0.00

0.00

0.00

Tain SC

1,800.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

Wick SC

0.00

1,455.00

3,709.40

0.00

0.00

0.00

Total

90,486.76

119,471.79

204,644.31

177,486.77

196,611.02

180,262.68

 

Non-cash property recovered under the civil recovery provisions of POCA 2002 is vested in the Trustee for Civil Recovery (the Trustee) either by the Court of Session or by means of extra-judicial settlement. The Scottish Ministers do not directly seize or forfeit property. The Trustee's function is to thereafter realise the value of the vested assets which is then transferred to the Scottish Consolidated Fund. The CRU does not hold records of amounts realised from non-cash assets and extra-judicial settlements and remitted to the Scottish Consolidated Fund by sheriffdom.