New measures are now in force that give new powers to law enforcement agencies in combatting organised crime by widening what can be classed as cash when seizing assets.
The new provisions are contained in the Criminal Finances Act 2017 and mean that betting slips, casino chips and gaming vouchers can now be seized as if they were currency.
Police Scotland will also be able to search for and seize items of value such as jewellery, watches, stamps and precious stones where they are suspected of being involved in illegal activity, in the same way they already do with cash.
“This is a significant step in ensuring criminals cannot profit from unlawful activities and gives our law enforcement agencies additional powers to seize assets acquired by illegal means,” commented Cabinet Secretary for Justice Michael Matheson.
“More than £6 million was recovered by the Crown Office and the Civil Recovery Unit in 2017/18,” he said. “However, expanding the definition of what can be treated as cash and what our police officers can search for as they seek to disrupt criminal activity has the potential to further impact Scottish organised crime.”
“I am determined that crime will not pay and that every ill-gotten asset can be put back into communities through the Cashback programme, whether it’s a gemstone, betting slip or casino chip,” he added. “There must be no respite in tackling organised crime and the harm it causes.”
For expert legal advice on these issues, and other area of criminal law, then contact our specialist criminal defence lawyers today.