Money laundering offences—acquisition, use and possession
Money laundering offences—acquisition, use and possession

The following Corporate Crime guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Money laundering offences—acquisition, use and possession
  • The principal money laundering offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
  • The acquisition, use and possession of the proceeds of crime offence
  • Defences to POCA 2002, s 329 offence
  • Authorised disclosures (SARs) and consent to transactions taking place
  • Adequate consideration for the purposes of POCA 2002, s 329(2)
  • Sentences for money laundering offences

The principal money laundering offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

The money laundering offences set out in sections 327–329 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA 2002) are commonly known as the 'concealing' offence, the 'arranging' offence and the 'acquisition, use and possession' offence, and are, together, the principle money laundering offences, see Practice Note: Money laundering offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002—The principal money laundering offences.

This Practice Note concerns the acquisition, use and possession offence under POCA 2002, s 329. For further information on the other principle money laundering offences, see Practice Notes: Money laundering offences—the arrangement offence and Money laundering offences—concealing, disguising, converting, transferring and removing.

The acquisition, use and possession of the proceeds of crime offence

A person commits an offence if they:

  1. acquire criminal property

  2. use criminal property

  3. have possession of criminal property

For detailed guidance on what constitutes criminal property and criminal conduct, see Practice Note: Money laundering offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002—Criminal property and criminal conduct for the purposes of money laundering.

As for mens rea, mere suspicion will suffice. Dishonesty is not required, nor need the accused know or believe the property in question is criminal property for the substantive offence.

Suspicion is to be given its ordinary, commonly understood meaning and needs to be