Level 5, 160 St Georges Terrace PERTH
The Australian Federal Police utilise the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth)(POCA) to recover the proceeds of crime and to disrupt criminal activity, particularly organised crime. The POCA enables the AFP to restrain (freeze) property in civil proceedings on the basis of a reasonable suspicion of criminal offending. POCA proceedings however can be conducted in the absence of criminal charges or a criminal conviction.
While the respondents to POCA action may apply to have restraint set aside property will remain restrained in the meantime and third party interests such as those of mortgagees may be affected while restraint continues.
The POCA provides tools to investigate proceeds matters such as notices to produce which may be directed to financial institutions, settlement agents, accounting firms and other professional advisers. These tools are usually utilised prior to commencement of proceedings. Upon the commencement of litigation the POCA provides the AFP with the ability to require persons to attend to be examined in circumstances where questions must be answered (subject to various protections) notwithstanding that the answers given may incriminate the person.
An explanation of the practical operation of the POCA will be provided along with information regarding third party interests and the position of persons who are not respondents but required to comply with POCA investigations including examinations.
2 points Competency 4 Substantive Law
The Hon Justice Jeremy Allanson - Chair
Supreme Court of Western Australia
Deputy Counsel & Coordinator WA, SA & NT Criminal Assets Litigation
Australian Federal Police