Dragged into Investigation

The powers of investigation available under Part 8 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) for the purpose of a criminal confiscation order include Production Orders, Search and Seizure Warrants, Customer Information Orders Account Monitoring Orders and Disclosure Orders. In addition, financial institutions make suspicious activity reports (SARs) to the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), who in turn pass these on to financial investigators to make enquires. These provide a fruitful source of intelligence that may ultimately result in a successful prosecution with a confiscation order being made.So says the CPS.

Production Orders

These allow financial investigators to obtain information about the financial affairs of a person subject to a confiscation, money laundering or civil recovery investigation, most usually in relation to his or her bank accounts. A production order requires the person in possession or control of the material to produce it to an appropriate officer to take away, or give an appropriate officer access to it within the period stated in the order. This is usually seven days unless the judge decides that a longer or shorter period is appropriate.

Power of entry

A production order does not automatically give a right of entry onto premises. If a production order requires a person to give an appropriate officer access to material, section 347 allows the judge, on application by an appropriate officer, to make an order to grant entry. This order requires any person entitled to grant entry to the premises to allow an appropriate officer to enter those premises to obtain access to the material.

A production order cannot require the production of, or grant access to, material that is legally privileged or excluded material. Section 348(2) defines privileged material as being any material, which the person would be entitled to refuse to produce on grounds of legal professional privilege in proceedings in the High Court.

Material is not subject to legal professional privilege merely because it is held by a lawyer. In R v Central Criminal Court ex parte Francis and Francis [1988] 3 All ER 775 the House of Lords held that documents were not subject to legal professional privilege if they were held with the intention of furthering a criminal purpose.
Clarke Kiernan, Business Crime solicitors,

2 – 4 Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent. TN9 1DU
Phone: 01732360999, Fax : 01732353835, info@clarkekiernan.com, Map