Recovery orders: repatriation

Part of Criminal Finances Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 2:30 pm ar 22 Tachwedd 2016.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

‘(1) The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 is amended, after section 266, by inserting—

(1) Where a court—

(a) issues a recovery order under section 266; and

(b) has reasonable grounds for suspecting that property subject to the recovery order was obtained through unlawful conduct in a foreign country,

the court must issue a repatriation order in relation to that property.

(2) A repatriation order shall provide that within a year of the property’s having been recovered the property must be repatriated back to its country of origin.

(3) When a repatriation order has been issued, the Secretary of State shall send a request for cooperation and assistance to a representative of the government of the country of origin, in consultation with relevant third parties, and must, upon a court having issued a recovery order, endeavour to agree with that representative—

(a) as to how such property or the value of such property will be used upon its being repatriated to ensure that wherever possible the property repatriated will be used in a manner that will contribute to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 16, that benefits victims of the unlawful conduct, or that ensures the repatriated property is used for the original purpose from which it was diverted;

(b) a mechanism for accounting for the disbursement of the property and for making public a report on the use to which the property has been put.

(4) For the purposes of this section—

“relevant third parties” will include civil society actors and non-governmental organisations; independent audit bodies; the Department for International Development and multilateral development banks; and

“victims” will include communities affected by the unlawful conduct as well as the State.

(5) A repatriation order shall not be issued where—

(a) the court is satisfied that on the balance of probabilities that successful repatriation would lead to the property or the value of the property being subject to conduct that, were it within its jurisdiction, would violate the Human Rights Act 1998;

(b) the court is satisfied that on, the balance of probabilities, that successful repatriation would most likely result in such property being subject to illicit financial activity by a Politically Exposed Person in its country of origin; or

(c) the court is satisfied that, on the balance of probabilities, the property would not reach and/or be used for the purposes as agreed to by the Secretary of State and the representative of the country of origin.

(6) The UK may retain the total value of the recovered property where the Secretary of State and the relevant enforcement agency take all appropriate steps as set out in section (3) subsections (a) and (b) to assist the State in question in repatriating such property and yet receive no cooperation from the other State within a year of having taken such appropriate steps.

(7) For the purposes of subsection (6) “cooperation” is defined as the foreign State’s conclusively demonstrating to the Secretary of State and enforcement agency of its having done or being in the process of implementing the necessary steps required to ensure that the property or value of such property will be used for the ends laid down in section (3) (a) and the court is satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the property or value of such property will be used in accordance with those activities and probabilities as laid down in subsection (5)(a), (b) and (c).

(8) The court may order that a repatriation order may grant that the property could be given, subject to an agreement between the Secretary of State and a representative of the government of the country of origin, to a non-state actor who may distribute the property in accordance with subsection (3)(a) and (b) above.

(9) Upon application by the relevant enforcement agency the court may increase the time period within which repatriation must happen up to a maximum of five years if the court is satisfied that operational circumstances preclude the possibility of repatriation within the period previously required.

(10) The relevant enforcement agency may apply to the court for further extensions to the time period, where there is less than a year before the date of repatriation.

(11) Where the court grants an extension the enforcement agency in conjunction with the Secretary of State must publish a public report detailing the reasons why it sought an extension to the deadline for repatriation.

(12) Where the Secretary of State in conjunction with the enforcement agency publishes such a report as set out the Secretary of State may omit sensitive operational information which would preclude the possibility of repatriation being successful should such details be published.

(13) Such a report without redacted information will be passed to the Secretary of State upon each application made to the court for an extension.

(14) No later than one year after such property is repatriated all such reports will be made public in an uncensored form.””—

This new clause would require property that was subject to a recovery order to be repatriated to its country of origin where the money was options through unlawful conduct in that country.