The purpose of this paper is to highlight the limitations of training provided to accredited financial investigators, police officers generally, the Crown Prosecution Service and the judiciary in relation to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, money laundering, the investigation of financial crime and the options to recover the assets of criminals.
A literature review of the legislation and statutory instruments; training material; evidence provided to government committees; academic papers and journal articles was undertaken to identify the intention of the legislation and how this is manifested in the training of those responsible for dealing with money laundering; cash detention and forfeiture; restraint and confiscation.
The training provided to accredited financial investigators has failed to progress since the implementation of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 that legislated for its provision. It is limited to the use of the powers granted to financial investigators within the Act, ignoring the variety of roles in which an accredited financial investigator can be used, as well as the changing face of criminality generally and specifically in terms of fraud and money laundering and the predicate criminality behind it. Additionally, the training for the Crown Prosecution Service and judiciary is inadequate with insufficient lawyers and judges with expertise in Proceeds of Crime work. Suggestions for the improvement in training are made with a recommendation that the training be reviewed regularly to ensure currency and relevance.
This paper serves as a useful review of the existing training picture in financial investigation and identifies its limitations and areas for improvement. It is essential that financial investigation is not viewed as an inconvenience or a niche role and that it is considered essential to the investigation of organised crime, money laundering, acquisitive and economic crime.
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