Money laundering offences—tipping off and prejudicing an investigation
Money laundering offences—tipping off and prejudicing an investigation

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

  • Money laundering offences—tipping off and prejudicing an investigation
  • Tipping off and prejudicing an investigation
  • Suspicious activity reports (SARs)—a pre-requisite for the tipping off offence
  • Tipping off offence—following a SAR
  • Defences to tipping off
  • Disclosure using civil remedies
  • Sentences for tipping off offences under POCA 2002
  • Prejudicing an investigation offence
  • Defences to prejudicing an investigation
  • Privileged circumstances
  • More...

Tipping off and prejudicing an investigation

It would undermine the benefit to the authorities if, a suspicious activity report (SAR) having been made, the alleged offender were to be made aware of the interest in their activities so that they could take steps to cover up their misdeeds or disappear. To combat this, Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA 2002) contains the separate offences of 'tipping off' and 'prejudicing an investigation'.

The offences of tipping off and prejudicing an investigation share common features but are aimed at distinctly different offending actions. The tipping off provisions apply only to the regulated sector and are triggered where the individual who knows or suspects a disclosure (or SAR) has been made under POCA 2002, s 337 (protected disclosure) or POCA 2002, s 338 (authorised disclosure) (see Practice Note: Authorised disclosure, protected disclosure and appropriate consent).

The prejudicing an investigation offence is more general in its application and is directed to the individual with knowledge of the existence of an investigation of various types.

Note: giving any advice on making a SAR before any disclosure is made does not contravene these provisions.

Offences can also be committed by those who fail to disclose information when there is a requirement to do so, see Practice Note: Money laundering offences—failure to disclose offences.

The Terrorism Act 2000 also contains a tipping off offence (see

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