CRIMINAL BENEFITS CONFISCATION
CONFISCATION OF CRIMINAL BENEFITS
Under State and Federal property confiscation laws, authorities can confiscate criminal benefits acquired by a person. A criminal benefit can be any property, advantage, service or benefit that makes up a portion of a person’s wealth and was directly or indirectly obtained due to involvement in a confiscation offence.
There are a number of steps the Police must take when removing Proceeds of Crime and Criminal Benefits.
Step 1: The investigation
This includes collecting evidence and other material needed to substantiate unlawful conduct; as well as identifying and locating the relevant property and assets.
Step 2: Freezing the property
A freezing notice is required to prevent the property being disposed of or dealt with in any way pending the outcome of the investigation and confiscation proceedings. Property may also be taken into custody at this stage, if ordered by the court.
In some cases, certain property cannot be confiscated if it hasn’t been subject to a freezing notice or restraining order before. While in other cases, the property doesn’t need to have a previous restraining order before confiscation.
Step 3: Property Confiscation
An order from the court will see the property confiscated.
Step 4: Disposal of confiscated property
Confiscated property is liquidated by the Australian Financial Security Authority and the proceeds deposited into the Confiscated Assets Account established by the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
WHAT IS CONSIDERED A CRIMINAL BENEFIT
Y* used his house to manufacture a prohibited drug and grow cannabis plants. The WA Police suggested that the house was a criminal benefit and should be confiscated.
*name altered for confidentiality.