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COPFS

Cash forfeitures, Asset Recovery and Confiscation Orders (R015959)

Thank you for your e-mail in which you requested the following information under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA):

"I am writing to request the following information, for the financial years 2015-16, 2014-15, 2013-14, namely:

a) the total value of monies obtained from  cash forfeiture orders

b) the total value of monies obtained from (civil) asset recovery orders

c) the total value of confiscation orders obtained"

Thank you also for attaching a blank table for completion with the information you have requested at points a), b) and c) above.

Please see below the information requested which I hope you will find helpful.

  Civil Recovery Unit

Cash Forfeitures Amounts remitted to the Scottish Consolidation fund

Civil Recovery Unit

Asset Recovery 

Amounts remitted to the Scottish Consolidation fund

Serious and Organised Crime Division –

Total value  of confiscation orders

2015-16

£1,147,461

£2,565841

£5,226,159.86

2014-15

£1,543,874

£3,044,880

£4,040,978.76

2013-14

£1,820,036

£2,587,378

£3,604,098.70

Note of Explanation of the role of CRU and SOCD:

The Civil Recovery Unit (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.

The Serious and Organised Crime Division (SOCD) has primary responsibility for the implementation of Proceeds of Crime legislation throughout Scotland, in so far as it relates to restraint and confiscation. Additionally SOCD has responsibility for the management of the Expedited Referrals Project and liaison with the Civil Recovery Unit on appropriate cases. The aim of criminal confiscation provisions of Proceeds of Crime legislation is to allow the court, following a conviction, 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.

The aim of the criminal confiscation provisions of POCA is to allow the court to make a confiscation order requiring an accused to pay a fixed sum of money relating to the benefit obtained from his general criminal conduct in a criminal lifestyle case and from his particular criminal conduct otherwise.

A criminal confiscation order therefore remains an order to pay a fixed sum of money and is entirely separate from forfeiture of items such as cars and cash used in 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 (i.e. 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.

In instances where there are no assets available at the time a confiscation order is made an order can be made for as small a figure as £1.00. These confiscation orders are called nominal confiscation orders. The purpose of a nominal order is to preserve the Crown’s position, so that if the accused obtains any assets in the future the Crown can ask the court to recalculate the confiscation order.