It is a criminal offence under PoCA Part 7 for anyone, following a disclosure to a Nominated Officer or to SOCA, to do or say anything that might either ‘tip off’ another person that a disclosure has been made or prejudice an investigation. The Terrorism Acts contain similar offences.
- This means that businesses must not tell a customer:
- That a transaction was/is being delayed because consent from SOCA has been requested
- That details of their transactions or activities will be/have been reported to SOCA
- That they are being investigated by law enforcement under Chapter 8 POCA.
Reasonable enquiries of a customer concerning the background to a business or transaction, as part of customer due diligence checks will not give rise to a tipping-off offence. The offence of tipping off can only occur once a suspicious activity report is made.