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Tipping off, production orders, liaison notices and saisie judiciaires

Tipping off

What is “tipping off”?

Article 35 of the Proceeds of Crime Law, Articles 41 and Article 35 of the Terrorism Law make it an offence for any person to disclose to a third party any information likely to prejudice an investigation where that person knows or suspects that a suspicious activity report has been made, or that an investigation is under way or proposed. 

The penalty for tipping off can be up to 5 years imprisonment and / or a fine.

Legislation

Can I be released from tipping off?

Yes, in certain circumstances the JFCU may release you from the tipping off provisions. This will often be possible, for example, in cases where the account holder has been charged with a criminal offence and therefore the investigation will not be prejudiced.

However, never assume that you will be released from the provisions and always seek JFCU authority.

Production orders

What is a production order?

A production order is granted by the Bailiff, on behalf of the Royal Court, if he is satisfied that:

  • there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that a specified person or entity has been involved in criminality
  • the material requested will be of substantial value to the investigation
  • production of the material is in the public interest

What happens when I receive a production order?

In most cases the JFCU will already have been in contact with you and will have notified you that they are applying for an order. The order will specify the name/s of the persons or entities to whom or which it applies and will require you to furnish all the information you hold on them within a specified period, normally 7 days. Once served the JFCU officer will be happy to discuss which material is initially required and timescales etc.

Do I have to produce items subject to legal professional privilege?

No. Such items are exempt; however, in disputed cases an independent lawyer may be appointed to adjudicate.

Can I disclose to the client / customer that I have received a production order?

No. You may commit the criminal offence of tipping off and the penalty can be up to 5 years imprisonment and / or a fine.

Liaison notices

What is a liaison notice?

The JFCU will issue liaison notices to specified officials within the financial community. The notices will contain the name and last known address of a person (or associated business) who has been charged with serious criminality, eg drug trafficking.

What am I required to do once I receive a liaison notice?

You must check your business records in order to identify any information that you hold on the subject.

Will I need to submit a SAR?

It is a business decision to submit a SAR or not. It is for you to satisfy yourselves whether or not the interaction that you have had with the named individual or company is linked to the proceeds of crime or the crime detailed in the liaison notice. A SAR is your protection from committing money laundering offences under the Proceeds of Crime (Jersey) Law 1999.

Legislation

What if the address or name / date of birth are different?

People often move address or purposely provide old or false addresses in order to frustrate law enforcement investigations. It is also quite common for persons involved in criminality to provide slightly different names and dates of birth on official documents. Please contact the case officer and discuss the position.

How do I receive a liaison notice?

Liaison Notices are sent via email to those individuals who have registered their email details with the JFSC.

Can I retain liaison notices?

Only for internal auditing purposes, such as to be able to demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements and similar. Access to such notices should be securely restricted, for example to the compliance department, and must not be retained / used for purposes such as carrying out checks on prospective clients etc.

Saisie judiciaire 

What is a “saisie judiciaire”?

A saisie judiciaire is granted by the Bailiff, on behalf of the Royal Court, and is a formal means of “restraining” assets (realisable property). The assets do not have to be suspected of being derived from, or intended to be used in connection with, criminality.

Saisies are normally granted once proceedings have been instituted but not concluded and order that:

  1. all realisable property held by the defendant in Jersey shall vest in the Viscount

  2. any specified person may be prohibited from dealing with any realisable
    property held by that person whether the property is described or not

  3. any specified person may be prohibited from dealing with any realisable
    property transferred to the person after the making of the Order

The JFCU may, for example, seek a saisie judiciaire in respect of the balance of bank accounts and the Viscount will serve the Order on the Institution and take possession of the funds which will be held in an interest bearing account until such time as proceedings are concluded.

What happens to assets subject to a saisie judiciaire?

If proceedings are concluded and a confiscation order is made by the Royal Court, the court may empower the Viscount to realise any realisable property which has been vested in the Viscount in order to satisfy the confiscation order. If no confiscation order is made the Royal Court may discharge the saisie judiciaire and the realisable property will be returned to the owner.

 

Advice

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