§ Lord Cocks of Hartcliffe
asked Her Majesty's Government:
When they will publish the draft Proceeds of Crime Bill. [HL1062]
§ Lord Bassam of Brighton
We have today published a Command paper, CM 5066, entitledProceeds of Crime Bill: Publication of Draft Clauses. Copies have been placed in the Library. It is also available on the Home Office website, www.homeoffice.gov.uk.
The draft clauses we are publishing provide for the establishment of an asset recovery agency; the introduction of civil recovery; the application of taxation powers to suspected criminal assets; the creation of new specific powers for the tracing and investigation of criminal assets; the restraint of assets of suspected persons during a criminal investigation instead of only at the point of charge; improvements in the United Kingdom's ability to assist foreign jurisdictions; and the reform and updating of confiscation procedures and money laundering offences. The Bill, the work on which has been undertaken on a collaborative basis, will introduce equivalent measures in Scotland and Northern Ireland, adjusted for the legal systems of those jurisdictions.
The Government will take account of the responses to the Command paper before finalising the Bill for introduction. We are asking to receive replies before the end of May.