Money laundering means masking or dissimulating illegal revenue and making it seem genuine. A Money Laundering Act 2002 has been introduced to address such situations. The Act provides officials with broad authorities to ensure that the Act is effectively applied. This article covers the search and seizure of property in accordance with this Act.
Various powers of officials under the Money Laundering Prevention Act
According to the Money Laundering Act 2002, the head of the Deputy Director authorised by him, who is under the authority of any Deputy Director of any facility, location, vehicle, or aircraft may permit someone to search when he has any cause to believe that criminal proceeds are retained.
In addition, this Act also authorises the central government to permit a person to order a person to search. A person authorised may order a person’s search if the person has cause to consider that such a secret is helpful or relevant to proceedings under the Act as regards something under his own custody, ownership or control.
Officers who are not below the rank of adjutant directors of the Enforcement Directorate can search people and take property records that are helpful or relevant.
Money Laundering Act Search Prevention
Any officer subject to the law may be approved for search by the director or by anyone accredited by him. The approval is in Form I prescribed. The search can only be made when a report has been delivered to a judge or when a complaint has been lodged with the judge or the Court.
Two local people would be searched. By smashing locks, doors etc. the authority may enter. In addition, a car, a vessel or an aircraft may halt. During the search, the occupant, the area, and the vehicle may be present.
Any record or item that you find in the search is frozen by the police or authority. If record/property cannot be seized, the officer might order the property to freeze.
The officer can give this over for safe custody to the individual from whom the items have been taken. The conviction notice is ready. In order to be searched and confiscated, it would be in Form II and the Code of Criminal Procedure would apply.
It should create and submit to the Adjudicating Authority, in a sealed envelope, an index of a copy of the reason recorded for search with the material in its possession. The screened envelope is designated as private and is kept confidential in an outer envelope. The authorities must keep a proper record. Recognition shall be granted by the adjudicating authority in form IV.
Seized property conservation
If an official has cause to think that the property has been needed for the award under Section 8- Section 20(1) of the Act, the property seized or frozen under the relevant provisions of the Act may be held by the authorised officer.
It should be emphasised that 180 days from the day the goods were frozen or seized, the property may be kept. The adjudicating authority is to be informed of the specifics of such property in the way required. Unless the adjudicating body permits retention of goods beyond this period, the confiscated property should be restored to the individual from whom it was seized after the 180 days term.
Submit copies of search, seizure, and freezing reports
The Authority should compile and transmit to the Adjudicating Authority an index of copies of the grounds given for search in its possession.
Material is material that after search and seizure is in the custody of authorities. Reports submitted to the Magistrate or police report submitted – Rule 2(1) (k).
The envelope labelled ‘confidential’ should be sealed. The sealed envelope will be stored in a ‘confidential’ envelope. The authorities will keep proper records. Real records.
Acceptance in the form stipulated IV [Rule 9] will be given to the Adjudicating Authority.
They are preserved for a minimum period of 10 years [Rule 10].
Summons for Attendance
A further Director, together with the required papers [Section 50(2) of the Money Laundering Law] may issue a summons to attend his office.
The called person is obligated to attend to any matter under consideration and speak the truth. He shall declare and submit the necessary papers [section 50(3) of the Money Laundering Prevention Act].
For reasons to be documented, the created records may be imposed by the authorities. Unless approved by the Director [section 50(5) of the Laundering Act], records cannot be maintained beyond the period of three months.
The invitation is in specified form V.
The Department of Enforcement under FEMA has these authorities.
Provisional attachment under the Money Laundering Act Provisional
The attachment refers to an order made in accordance with the law to prevent transferring, transferring, disposing or moving the property. Provisionally, the property implicated in money laundering is subject to the Act.
An authority may attach an item for up to 180 days temporarily if it has cause to think that a person is likely to be handled or cached or transferred in the proceeds of a crime and that this may be detrimental to the confiscation procedure for the proceeds of a crime.
The reasons for this belief must be written down. The reasons shall be sent to the adjudicating authority in a sealed envelope together with a copy of the attachment order.
Only after the report is sent to the judge in accordance with Article 173 of the CrPc for cognizance, can a temporary attachment order be issued. In the event of an emergency when the property may disappear, it may be noted that the temporary attachment may be established before filing such reports.
Confiscated property management and disposal
If the adjudicating authority determines that a property is engaged in money-laundering, it may order or, if already attached, it may maintain the attachment until the judging court’s judgement is final. If the person is proven guilty, the awarding authority may seize the property. The property to be confiscated is here to be mentioned in Central Govt.
The Central Government shall designate the manager to receive and administer the seized property, and the manager shall adopt measures to dispose of the property.
As administrators of the receiving and managing property confiscated under the act, special enforcement directors for the Regional Office of ED are appointed.
The arrest of a Person
If a person has cause to think he is guilty of a crime punished by the Act, the Director, Deputy Director or any other Central Government-authorized agents can arrest. This justification must be based on the material in its possession [Section 19(1) of the Money Laundering Act] and must be recorded in writing.
For this aim, the FEMA Directorate of Enforcement was authorised.
Criminal offences under the Money Laundering Act can be recognised and leased, regardless of any contravention of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Customers may arrest a person without a warrant under the provisions set out in Articles 19 and 45 of the Laundry Prevention Act – Explanation of Section 45(2) of the Laundering Prevention Act introduced, e.g., 1-8-2019. Officers who do not accept warranty may arrest a person.
The retrospective impact of this provision is that the drafting of paragraph 45 of the Money Laundering Protection Act was defective.
A detained person shall be presented within 24 hours before the Metropolitan Magistrate’s Judicial Magistrate [section 19(2) of Money Laundering Prevention Act].
The report shall be submitted to the arresting authority after arrest, as required by 19 of the parties (2). Prevention of money laundering (the forms and the way in which a person receives a copy from the arrest warrant together with the material to the arresting authority and the period for which it is retained) Rules 2005 include the procedures for the same.
The Central Government’s ‘Arresting Officer’ may qualify as the Director, Deputy, and Assistant Director of Enforcement, FEMA. The order for arrest should be in the III form.
The Adjudicating Authority shall give an acknowledgement. ‘Materials’ must mean any information or material that the director, deputy director, or deputy manager holds, on the grounds that he has registered under paragraph 19(1) of the Act. For a minimum of ten years, the Adjudicating Authority shall preserve a copy of the arrest warrant and any documentation.
Prevention of money laundering (form and method to forward a copy of an order of arrest to a person together with the material to the adjudicating authority and the period for which the person was detained) Rules, 2005 have been established to follow the procedure of arrest and forwarding copy to that person.
In order to fight the offense of legalisation of revenue/benefit from an unlawful source, the prevention of money laundering Act 2002 was created. The Act grants police broad powers, which entails the search, seizure, and imposition of records, to guarantee an efficient execution of the Act.