Author: Niall Hearty 7 April 2022
Niall Hearty of Rahman Ravelli details the Crown Prosecution Service’s response to changes in serious economic and organised crime
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has created what it calls a united team to tackle the latest developments in serious and organised crime.
The new Serious Economic, Organised Crime and International Directorate (SEOCID) brings together those with specialised expertise in economic crime, organised crime, proceeds of crime and international crime to combat cross-border illegal activity, take assets from criminals and be more proactive to emerging threats.
The CPS says SEOCID has been devised as a response to the evolution of tactics by those in organised crime, who use large-scale fraud schemes and launder the proceeds of their crimes. It aims to make the best possible use of the specialist knowledge available to respond to the challenges posed by such criminals.
SEOCID will work with investigators to address the threats posed by organised criminal gangs who use cyber technology to exploit individuals, businesses and even governments. It will ensure investigators and prosecutors work closely across borders to meet the international challenges posed by organised crime.
The creation of SEOCID is part of the CPS Economic Crime Strategy 2025. So far, the strategy has led to the creation of an International Proceeds of Crime Board - with the CPS’s partner agencies - to improve asset recovery processes. It has also seen training given to prosecutors on extradition matters post-Brexit and cryptocurrency courses devised for HM Revenue and Customs staff.
SEOCID, which came into effect on April 1, is a merger of the CPS’s International Justice and Organised Crime Division and the Specialist Fraud Division. It will work alongside the CPS Proceeds of Crime Division as one team.
Between 2016-17 and 2020-21, the CPS recovered assets worth £568 million from criminals through confiscation orders. Its Proceeds of Crime Division assisted HM Courts and Tribunals Service in recovering £390 million of that amount, of which almost £126 million was returned to victims of crime in compensation.
Niall has a wealth of corporate crime expertise and an ability to coordinate global bribery and corruption cases. His achievements in such investigations have made him a logical choice for corporate clients.