Q&As

Do the money laundering offences under Part 7 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA 2002) apply to only UK nationals and companies or are foreign nationals and businesses also caught by these provisions? Do the money laundering offences under POCA 2002 have extra-territorial effect?

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Produced in partnership with Philip Rule
Published on LexisPSL on 22/02/2019

The following Corporate Crime Q&A produced in partnership with Philip Rule provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Do the money laundering offences under Part 7 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA 2002) apply to only UK nationals and companies or are foreign nationals and businesses also caught by these provisions? Do the money laundering offences under POCA 2002 have extra-territorial effect?
  • Territorial jurisdiction
  • Extra-territorial reach of POCA 2002, Pt 7
  • Resources comparing UK and US money-laundering offences and bribery or corruption offences

Do the money laundering offences under Part 7 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA 2002) apply to only UK nationals and companies or are foreign nationals and businesses also caught by these provisions? Do the money laundering offences under POCA 2002 have extra-territorial effect?

Territorial jurisdiction

The jurisdiction of the criminal law is a matter which is often found to present difficult questions for the courts in specific factual scenarios.

Although (in theory), the jurisdiction of the criminal courts in England and Wales is wide, the jurisdiction of such courts is primarily territorial. Therefore, in the absence of a specific statutory enactment making provision to the contrary, the provisions of English criminal law will not extend to acts and omissions amounting to criminal offences which are committed outside England and Wales. On the other hand, the criminal courts in England and Wales will have jurisdiction to try criminal offences arising in respect of a foreign national or company if a substantial measure of the acts or omissions amounting to the commission of such offences took place England and Wales. For further information, see: Offences committed partly within and partly outside England and Wales: Halsbury's Laws of England [16].

Extra-territorial reach of POCA 2002, Pt 7

The legislation which governs the principal offences of money laundering contains express provisions which create extra-territorial scope. POCA 2002, s 340 provides

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