Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001

Amendment of section 31 of Criminal Justice Act, 1994.

21

21.—The Criminal Justice Act, 1994, is hereby amended by the substitution of the following section for section 31 (money laundering, etc.):

“31.—(1) A person is guilty of money laundering if, knowing or believing that property is or represents the proceeds of criminal conduct or being reckless as to whether it is or represents such proceeds, the person, without lawful authority or excuse (the proof of which shall lie on him or her)—

( a) converts, transfers or handles the property, or removes it from the State, with the intention of—

(i) concealing or disguising its true nature, source, location, disposition, movement or ownership or any rights with respect to it, or

(ii) assisting another person to avoid prosecution for the criminal conduct concerned, or

(iii) avoiding the making of a confiscation order or a confiscation co-operation order (within the meaning of section 46 of this Act) or frustrating its enforcement against that person or another person,

( b) conceals or disguises its true nature, source, location, disposition, movement or ownership or any rights with respect to it, or

( c) acquires, possesses or uses the property.

(2) A person guilty of money laundering is liable—

( a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £1,500 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both, or

( b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years or to both.

(3) Where a person—

( a) converts, transfers, handles or removes from the State any property which is or represents the proceeds of criminal conduct,

( b) conceals or disguises its true nature, source, location, disposition, movement or ownership or any rights with respect to it, or

( c) acquires, possesses or uses it,

in such circumstances that it is reasonable to conclude that the person—

(i) knew or believed that the property was or represented the proceeds of criminal conduct, or

(ii) was reckless as to whether it was or represented such proceeds,

the person shall be taken to have so known or believed or to have been so reckless, unless the court or jury, as the case may be, is satisfied having regard to all the evidence that there is a reasonable doubt as to whether the person so knew or believed or was so reckless.

(4) Where a person first referred to in subsection (1) of this section does an act referred to in paragraph ( a) of that subsection in such circumstances that it is reasonable to conclude that the act was done with an intention specified in that paragraph, the person shall be taken to have done the act with that intention unless the court or jury, as the case may be, is satisfied having regard to all the evidence that there is a reasonable doubt as to whether the person did it with that intention.

(5) This section does not apply to a person in respect of anything done by the person in connection with the enforcement of any law.

(6) This Part shall apply whether the criminal conduct in question occurred before or after the commencement of this section and whether it was or is attributable to the person first mentioned in subsection (1) or another.

(7) ( a) In this section—

(i) ‘criminal conduct’ means conduct which—

(I) constitutes an indictable offence, or

(II) where the conduct occurs outside the State, would constitute such an offence if it occurred within the State and also constitutes an offence under the law of the country or territorial unit in which it occurs,

and includes participation in such conduct;

(ii) ‘reckless’ shall be construed in accordance with section 16(2) of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act, 2001 ;

(iii) references to converting, transferring, handling or removing any property include references to the provision of any advice or assistance in relation to converting, transferring, handling or removing it;

(iv) references to believing that any property is or represents the proceeds of criminal conduct include references to thinking that the property was probably, or probably represented, such proceeds;

(v) references to any property representing the proceeds of criminal conduct include references to the property representing those proceeds in whole or in part directly or indirectly, and cognate references shall be construed accordingly.

( b) For the purposes of this section a person handles property if he or she, without a claim of right made in good faith—

(i) receives it, or

(ii) undertakes or assists in its retention, removal, disposal or realisation by or for the benefit of another person, or

(iii) arranges to do any of the things specified in subparagraph (i) or (ii).

( c) For the purposes of paragraph ( a)(i)(II)—

(i) a document purporting to be signed by a lawyer practising in the state or territorial unit in which the criminal conduct concerned is alleged to have occurred and stating that such conduct is an offence under the law of that state or territorial unit, and

(ii) a document purporting to be a translation of a document mentioned in subparagraph (i) and to be certified as correct by a person appearing to be competent to so certify,

shall be admissible in any proceedings, without further proof, as evidence of the matters mentioned in those documents, unless the contrary is shown.

(8) Where—

( a) a report is made by a person or body to the Garda Síochána under section 57 of this Act in relation to property referred to in this section, or

( b) a person or body (other than a person or body suspected of committing an offence under this section) is informed by the Garda Síochána that property in the possession of the person or body is property referred to in this section,

the person or body shall not commit an offence under this section or section 58 of this Act if and for as long as the person or body complies with the directions of the Garda Síochána in relation to the property.”.