Most activities we suspect are ones that are past, a danger arises when an offence is about to take place, for example processing a money transfer.
You may, for example, discover after processing a money transfer that the customer may have been moving the proceeds of crime, so you make a SAR, however you need to process another transaction next month. You now suspect that an offence is to about to take place, and you are in an arrangement to facilitate that offence. In these circumstances you need permission to proceed with the forthcoming transaction, in ‘protected circumstances’.
The consent provision PoCA 2002 S336is quite straight forward. This is the requirement to seek consent to proceed when there is a suspicion that a future criminal transaction may occur which utilising your firms activities.
- The MLRO will request consent to proceed on the suspicious activity report to the serious Organised Crime Agency.
- You must not proceed until consent is granted or else you will commit an offence along with the customer.
- The time period for consent to be granted is within 7 working days.
- Average time for consent to be given is 2 days.
- If nothing has been heard after 7 working days it can be taken that consent is granted.
- If consent is refused the transaction must not take place.
- There is then a further 31 day calendar day moratorium period to allow law enforcement to take action, such as a restraint of goods or a cash seizure order.
- If after this moratorium period no action has arisen you may proceed.
Your MLRO needs to understand from you in your internal suspicious activity report if consent is required and then he can keep you informed.