What is a ‘proceeds of crime offence’?

Proceeds of crime are offences dealt with by sections 193B and 193(C) of the Crimes Act 1900. It is where a person receives financial gain (money or assets) through serious criminal activity.

The Criminal Assets Recovery Act 1990 provides for the confiscation of proceeds of crimes as a debt due to the Crown. This power can be used even if a criminal conviction has not been found. Further, a person may be summoned to appear before NSW Crime Commission to give evidence about proceeds of crime.

A section 193B (money laundering) offence has three categories of offending:

  • knowingly deal and conceal proceeds of crime;
  • knowingly deal with proceeds of crime; and
  • recklessly deal with proceeds of crime.

*Reckless = Behaviour that is a departure from the care a reasonable person would exercise in similar circumstances.

A section 193C (proceeds of crime) offence has two categories of offending:

  • There are *reasonable grounds to suspect that the property dealt with is proceeds of crime, valued at more than $100,000.
  • There are *reasonable grounds to suspect that the property dealt with is proceeds of crime, valued at less than $100,000.

* Reasonable grounds has been defined as a suspicion that: property in person’s possession is disproportionate to their income; banks accounts held in false names; misleading, missing or false information has been given about a significant cash transaction; transactions structured to avoid financial reporting; and a claim that a dealing has been done on behalf of an unidentified person.

* Reasonable grounds to suspect’ means that police do not need to prove that an item is the proceeds of crime. Police only need to prove that a reasonable suspicion is held. If the court accepts this, then the onus falls on the defendant to prove that the property is not proceeds of crime.

The Crimes Act 1900 defines “deal with” (relevant to sections 193B and 193C)as:

  1. receive, possess, conceal or dispose of, or
  2. bring or cause to be brought into New South Wales, including transfer or cause to be transferred by electronic communication, or
  3. engage directly or indirectly in a transaction, including receiving or making a gift.

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