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Tougher Powers to Seize Criminal Gains

New proposals to tackle organised crime have been announced by the UK and Scottish Governments.

The proposals aim to strengthen Proceeds of Crime legislation and to crack down on criminals who avoid paying.

As the legislation is reserved, the UK Government, at the request of the Scottish Government, has included the following measures in its Serious Crime Bill:

  • Tougher prison sentences for failing to pay confiscation orders.
  • Enabling assets to be frozen faster and earlier in investigations.
  • Ensuring confiscation orders are in place for those who abscond before being convicted.
  • Requiring judges to consider attaching overseas travel bans to restraint and confiscation orders.

The Scottish Government has also requested the Bill contain three specific measures, which will only apply in Scotland:

  • Ensuring confiscation orders are not stopped as a result of offenders serving default sentences.
  • Creating new offences for breach of specific orders used during civil confiscation cases. This will make it less likely for assets to be broken up during a case.
  • Establishing the role of administrators to allow more cost-effective management of property held during civil confiscation cases.

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