CRIMINALS who try to dodge confiscation of their proceeds of crime could be faced with longer prison sentences and travel bans under new Home Office proposals.
Scottish law enforcement agencies will be able to seize criminal assets more quickly, close loopholes which criminals use to get round confiscation and crack down on those who avoid paying as part of a new Serious Crime Bill.
More than £56 million of criminal assets have been seized in Scotland, a record amount, since 2010.
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Scotland has a similar, but separate, confiscation regime than England and Wales. The Bill would increase prison sentences for failing to pay confiscation orders, require judges to consider attaching overseas travel bans to confiscation orders and restraint orders, enable assets to be frozen more quickly and earlier in investigations and ensure individuals who abscond before being convicted in their absence are subject to confiscation.
Karen Bradley, Minister for Modern Slavery and Organised Crime, said: "Crime should not pay but criminals will always seek new ways to hide the proceeds."
The Scottish Government has also requested three additional provisions, which are only applicable to Scotland: creating an offence of breaching a prohibitory property order or interim administration order; creation of management administrators for prohibitory property orders; and ensuring serving a default sentence no longer prevents the sum due under confiscation being collected.